A common misconception in the business world is that only large corporations are targeted by hackers. This falsehood is a dangerous attitude for small to medium size businesses (SMBs). According to a recent FOX News article, May brought the biggest “global” ransomware attack ever recorded. With at least 150 countries affected and around 200,000 organizations, ransomware is a bigger threat than ever.
Although hackers understand they can net big profits from hacking large corporations, they have also found over time that the vulnerability of SMB systems’ provide a much easier opportunity for a breach. For this reason, experts are trying to spread the word that SMBs are now becoming the front line targets for ransomware breaches.
“They are easy targets. Employees have less training, especially in IT. Small business owners tend to cut corners in regards to having backup systems in place. They are actually the most exposed to get hacked,” Gene Marks, a small business expert and founder of The Marks Group, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm, told FOX Business.
As terrifying as this information is, SMBs can do their part to avoid being victimized by ransomware and mitigate damages.
- Get Help – So many small business owners, wearing about 20 different hats, try to manage all of their IT and security infrastructure themselves. Although many may be doing so successfully, nobody will do it better than an IT expert or firm that specializes in protecting businesses from these types of attacks. With a booming marketplace there are several different options available for getting help with IT – anything from hiring a firm to working with a freelancer. The investment upfront is likely one of the smartest ones you will make as a SMB owner.
- Stay Updated – Both you and your computer! Once you have gotten the advice and support you need to ensure your systems are secure and protected, stay on top of software updates! These pesky little reminders that pop-up on the screen are crucial in making sure your technology is protected from the latest ransomware and viruses.
- Backup, Backup, Backup – There just isn’t any excuse not to back up your information. Consider it part of your regular housekeeping activities and work it in to your daily or weekly routine. One of the worst parts of a ransomware breach is losing data, backing it up helps to soften the blow in the case that hackers are successful. Like everything, there are a million options for backing up data, find one that works well for your business and get busy backing up.
It is extremely important for the future of SMBs as a whole to not be complacent about cybersecurity. Hackers are getting more creative at finding and exploiting vulnerabilities. It’s important to show them that just because you are small, does not mean you are weak.
About the Author – Rachida is an enthusiastic content marketer, devoted mother and lover of all things ice cream. She specializes in inbound marketing, branding, B2B marketing strategy and payment industry related topics. Rachida and her team strive to provide NTC Texas customers and fans with entertaining and valuable educational resources to find success in all areas of their businesses.
Top Photo Courtesy of MedithIT