Being a small business owner is rarely a walk in the park. There’s an endless outpouring of costs, non-stop emails and phone calls, and mountains of paperwork to take care of.
However, there’s a far more severe threat to your business, and it’s far less obvious than the traditional issues that come with running a company. Across England and Wales in 2016, roughly 1 in 10 of us were targeted by hackers. Most people who lack an understanding of the technical side of IT often don’t know there is anything wrong, at least until they check the state of their finances. Be it credit card numbers, passwords, technical designs and even (potentially) elections, often nothing is spared from being plundered.
Hidden online, there’s a staggering volume of viruses, malware and other malicious programs, as this infographic highlights, that are specifically designed to steal your personal data and cash. The Government plans to spend nearly £2 billion to counter this threat, but everyone has to play their part.
Even big corporations who can afford top of the range defenses suffer breaches. Global statistics estimate that hacking last year wiped around $4 million off each individual big business, and whilst they are the most appetizing targets, no-one is too small to escape a possible attack.
There are ways though to defend against these threats. Naturally, take care on what sites you click on and avoid going anywhere near suspicious looking emails and their attachments. If you’re unsure of what further action to take, there is an official online guide covering the ‘Cyber Essentials’ businesses should be aware of in order to protect themselves. It can provide some recommendations on where to begin depending on your needs and is a great place to start building up your defenses.
Overall, it would be dishonest to say small companies have nothing to fear from hackers. They can do tremendous damage, and make off with their prizes without leaving the slightest trace. Whilst your level of cyber security can never be 100%, you’re from defenseless. Take extra care to read up around the issue, and spend where you need to for that extra piece of mind. IT and security experts Cheeky Monkey produced an infographic to show the damage that a cyber attack can cause to a small business on average over 1 hour.