With many of today’s hacker headlines focusing on big brand breaches, it’s easy to forget that small businesses are under siege as well. As a matter of fact, in 2015, 43 percent of cyberattacks were against small business, according to Symantec. And, 60 percent of those attacked close their doors within 6 months (according to the National Cyber Security Alliance).
To highlight the issue, Inc. recently shared a cyberattack story from a Missouri-based small business called Peggy Jean’s Pies (talk about low hanging fruit). The company’s web presence was hijacked and redirected to an X-rated site. After working with a third-party vendor, and spending hundreds of dollars, the company finally restored its site.
With smaller businesses now being targeted by sophisticated malware and ransomware attacks, more and more people like Peggy Jean find themselves scrambling to understand and implement some level of security or security best practices. What can owners do to mitigate the never-ending flood of threats and phishing scams?
Inc. offers up some great suggestions to prevent hackers from penetrating your system, like advanced bank alerts, regular software updates and multiple backups. All fantastic ideas! Some additional things to consider: Many small businesses still use basic or old legacy firewalls. It’s time to upgrade to more advanced Unified Threat Management appliances that offer a variety of easily deployable and manageable security services, like advanced threat protection. Look for products aimed at SMBs. Also, understand your limitations. If you don’t have resources for IT and security staff, consider outsourcing to an MSSP partner (click here to read an article on this topic by Himanshu Verma, WatchGuard’s Director of Product Management).
Since so many smaller businesses are falling victim to cybercrime, what should be done if an attack succeeds? Inc. encourages organizations to prepare ahead of time. Have a plan for how you inform customers or employees if a worst-case scenario happens. Also, hire third-party experts to solve problems that are out of your depth. The first 48 hours is critical. And finally, if ransomed, think before you pay.
If you want more on the topic, read the entire article from Inc. here.
And, check out our Cyber Crime Comes to Main Street resource page and interactive infographic.