Michael Giuffrida: Cyber Espionage is a Real Threat to Small Businesses

You own a small business, so naturally, hackers will be more apt to bypass you and move on to a larger target, right? Wrong. Research shows that a third of all United States espionage attacks in cyber space target small businesses, according to entrepreneur Michael Giuffrida. Sure, a single small business’s information may not seem all that valuable, but when you add up the information of multiple businesses, it’s easy to see why hackers value small businesses just as they do larger companies.

The internal data that hackers are looking for when they target your business include your employee salaries, finances, and strategies. After all, they can easily sell this information. Another important area to watch is consumer information. Both your employees and your customers fully trust you with the information they give you, so it’s critical that you take cyber espionage seriously so that you don’t let them down.

A single misstep could unfortunately have a detrimental, lingering impact on your employee and customer relationships. In turn, it will affect your company financially; in fact, research indicated that 60 percent of attacked small businesses ended up having to shutter their doors within six months.

Sixty percent.

So, what do you need to do to protect your employees, your customers, and ultimately your business? First, keep your employees aware and informed about the hackers lurking out there in cyberspace. Employees remain one of the weakest links in many companies’ cybersecurity platforms, so make sure that you have strong security and information-handling policies in place at your company.

You can also brief your workers on the most recent phishing emails and other security risks in a company monthly newsletter. In addition, security audits can help you to determine what areas of your company require buttressing to more effectively bar hackers from your company’s valuable information. Keeping your business secure is an important agenda item that needs to remain at the forefront of all of your employees’ minds this summer and beyond.

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