If you own a business, you almost certainly use technology every day. Aside from routine operations, technology is also utilized in various forms to communicate with clients and with other team members. If you are like most businesses, not all communication happens within the office. You probably use a combination of computers, tablets, and smartphones to conduct day-to-day operations. Regardless of your specific setup, your company should have a network to safely share and store information across all users and devices. Most likely, this would include an onsite external hard drive and cloud storage, which enables you to access files via the Internet.
With all the changes, advancements and threats in technology every year, maintaining proper security measures can be challenging for the small business owner. At TUCU, our primary goal is to provide good information and network services to small business owners. Let's take a look at the threat landscape today.
Interpreting the Numbers: Recent Security Statistics
Cyber attacks are becoming more commonplace worldwide. Security breaches are costing Canada billions of dollars every year. To understand the magnitude of this problem, consider these statistics:
• Cybercrime was the second most worldwide-reported crime in 2016 according to PwC.
• A cyber attacker resides within a network for approximately 146 days before being detected. (Source: Microsoft)
• 63 percent of all cyber security breaches are the result of a compromised username or password. (Source: Microsoft)
• In their 2017 Annual Cybersecurity report, Cisco determined that eight percent of malicious email attachments sent worldwide were docm files, a type of Microsoft XML file that executes macros.
• According to Panda Security, 18 million new malware samples were captured in the third quarter of 2016.
• According to Symantec, ransomware increased exponentially over the past few years.
• In 2016, Symantec identified 18.4 million malware detections. That is over a 100 percent increase since 2015.
Small Business IT Security Breaches: What are the Consequences?
Big business hacks make headlines. No one really hears about the small business hit with $4,000 ransomware and 3 days of lost productivity. And it happens more often than you think.
Many hackers tend to target small companies first, because they know they are generally less protected. In an effort to cut costs, many small businesses allow employees to use their personal devices for company business (BYOD). However, this actually increases the chance for a breach exponentially. Because your employees personal devices are not managed and secured by you, according to best practices, they are prone to viruses, email hacking and can carry the risk or infection in to your business the next time they connect to the network or server. For this reason, we recommend a CYOD policy instead of a BYOD policy.
If a breach does indeed occur, the results could be devastating. Best case scenario, your programs and operations could be tampered with. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t stop there. In many cases, your clients’ data could be held for ransom or stolen, leaving you liable for damages. Financial and health care offices are often targets due to the sensitive data they hold, but any business is at risk.
Your business could be compromised in an instant, costing you a significant amount of time, money, and your good reputation. For this reason, it's important to implement and uphold IT Security best practices, which may include:
- a strong password policy
- the use of Active Directory to authenticate users who are or are not allowed to connect to your network
- user permissions to limit accidental infection or data theft by employees
- the use of a firewall
- IT Outsourcing for network management
Protect Your Business With An IT Security Services Provider: At TUCU, we offer small business owners peace of mind. By improving IT security standards and enhancing your network, you can shield your sensitive information from potential threats. Whether you need a network overhaul or routine maintenance, we can help you. To schedule a a free consultation, please call on us today.