Can cyber espionage affect my small-business?

Image by Michael Giuffrida for Computer securityJust because you are a small business owner does not mean you are a small target; in fact, about 1 in 3 of all cyber espionage attacks in the U.S. pray on small businesses. Espionage attacks are on the rise and frequently automated to target small businesses in the masses—while one business alone might not be the holy grail, stolen information can quickly add up for hackers.

Nothing is Off-Limits

Internal data such as finances, strategies, and employee salaries are all saleable by hackers and therefore frequently targeted.  In addition to your internals, consumer information is always in the cross-hairs.  As a small business, trust is often everything and just one misstep can have long lingering, detrimental impacts on both customer and employee relations.  These impacts trickle all the way down to the bottom-line, making the threat of cyber espionage difficult to ignore. A recent study showed that 60% of small businesses that were attacked went out of business within 6 months.

Keep employees informed and aware

Employees are often the weakest link in many cyber-security platforms making information-handling and security policies critical for any small business.  However, hackers evolve, and in order to keep yourself safe, you must too.   Monthly Newsletters briefing employees on the latest phishing emails, security risks and more are a great way keep your employees conscious of potential threats.  Security Audits are another important tool to verify that the wall separating your valuable information from hackers is as secure as possible.  Setting artificial traps for employees such as fake phishing emails or tainted links can let you identify what areas you need to focus efforts on and help employees more easily identify threats.  It is important to keep in mind that with this tactic, the goal is to use audits as learning experiences, NOT as tests to embarrass or threaten your employees.

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) can also be a great tool to assist with keeping your employees well prepared for day-to-day threats as well as supporting your business with many other preventative measures.  In addition, MSSPs can enable an increased sense of reactiveness & agility to protect against the latest and greatest cyber threats.

Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997.  He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.

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