How To Start & Grow Your Business

Think You’re too Small to get Hacked?

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    1Train your employees. 2Create a company policy. 3Put someone in charge.
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Abstract design made of keyhole symbol key symbol and fractal design elements on the subject of encryption security Photo Credit: agsandrew

We’ve all seen the large-scale security hacks perpetrated on high profile targets from retailers to film studios, but falling victim to malicious attacks is not just a concern of big business.

A recent Forbes article, written by George Westerman, warns against the naiveté of thinking your company is too small to be at risk.

“The fact is, if you’re in business, you’re a target. If you’re on the Internet, you’re already under attack,” he says.

Not only are small businesses vulnerable to attack, when attacks do occur, they are far more devastating in effect than those aimed at large enterprises.

“According to a recent study cited by the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, nearly 20% of all cyber attacks hit small businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Roughly 60% of small businesses close within six months of a cyber attack,” Westerman writes.

These days 40% of the breaches are caused by in-house employees, sometimes maliciously but more often unintentionally by inadvertent employee negligence. The article gives some recommendations for creating preventive standards within the company.

How to Protect your Small Business

1. Put someone in charge. That one main person in the company should be responsible for overseeing IT security and educating all personnel.

Under this specialist’s direction, your staff should be educated about how hackers work and the kind of phishing attempts to watch out for. Even though much of it seems common sense, it is vital that each and every employee has a solid understanding of safe web practices both at work and on the go.

2. Write up policies. The article urges the importance of setting up clear usage policies; including guidelines for password management.

3. Enforce them. Ensure these practices are actually adopted by testing employees’ diligence. For example, send out a fake email to see how many employees will recklessly open a URL link they were sent via an unsolicited email.

In this day and age it isn’t an option anymore for small businesses to operate without an active strategy against hacking threats. It will take a small investment to put the strategy in place, but protecting your customers and staying in business is well worth the effort.

To view the original article in its entirety, please visit

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