Cyber Security is critically important for any business that CANNOT afford to have their important data stolen, corrupted or exposed.
Cyber Security is NOT only for large corporations.
The reality is that, although less publicized in the media, small businesses are targeted by hackers VERY FREQUENTLY. Many hackers don’t have the skill or patience to infiltrate major networks (remember, theft is about easy money) so they victimize several small businesses that typically have fewer or less stringent protections in place to stop them. The bad news is that they target a lot of small businesses to get what they want, but the good news is that by enacting a robust cyber security plan, your business is no longer a potential victim.
Gambling with your business’s cyber security is like playing Russian roulette with your livelihood – you can easily mitigate the risks, so why chance it?
Another common misconception is that these threats are mostly perpetuated by random strangers in foreign countries. Realize that ANYONE with the means and motive to target your organization can launch these attacks; all the information they need to execute any of the attacks listed below is already available to them on the internet. From former employees to building maintenance staff, the odds of your cyber attacker being someone you know, or at least someone who’s more familiar with your company than you’d think, are far greater than many business owners like to assume.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security involves protecting computers, networks, applications and data from tampering, corruption or destruction by unauthorized third-parties. When most people think of cyber security, they think of hackers and scam emails, both of which seem unlikely or easily avoidable. However, there are many more cyber threats than most people assume, and they are more insidious and likely than many people realize. Below is just a brief overview of some of the threats that exist today:
- Malware: Any software meant to disable or harm computers and computer systems.
- Spyware: Adware, rootkits, tracking cookies and Trojans are all common examples of spyware. This is software that gathers a user’s information or takes control of their device without the user’s knowledge or consent.
- Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks: DoS attacks are malicious attacks that victimize companies by overloading their networks with excessive traffic, rendering the entire system unusable. This excess traffic is created by other compromised systems which have been infected with some form of spyware. There are many types of DoS Attacks: DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), Traffic, Bandwidth and Application Attacks are all used to wrench the network out of the owner’s hands.
- Phishing: A common scam found in emails, pop-up ads or fake download buttons on web pages. Phishing is an attempt to trick a user into providing their personal information like usernames, passwords, credit card information or social security numbers to a cyber criminal. These scams are disguised as part of a reputable company or entity’s virtual presence, for example, the data fields where you enter your credit card information on an unsecured online shopping website may submit your information to a hacker instead of the actual online store you think you’re using.
- Ransomware: You’ve likely heard of the WannaCry ransomware attack that occurred in May 2017 wherein several major corporations and national services comprised of over 230,000 computers were infected around the world. That is just one example of ransomware in action; a malicious software used to gain access to private files and make them inaccessible to the original owner. Typically, the owner is asked for money to regain access to the stolen data. If the data contains confidential or sensitive information, the hacker may threaten to leak the information if the ransom isn’t paid.
What are the benefits of Cyber Security?
- Peace of mind. With a professional cyber security plan in place, you can focus on your other responsibilities with the knowledge that your business is protected and your data is secure.
- Risk mitigation. Addressing the vulnerabilities in your network can greatly decrease the risk posed to your business by cyber criminals. Additionally, as part of any professional cyber security plan is a stringent disaster recovery plan that will safeguard your business from any loss or damages.
- Compliance. Cyber Security is an integral part of many regulatory compliance policies imposed by federal, state and local laws on businesses. Not meeting compliance can have serious repercussions from hefty fines to criminal charges.
How can PCI help my business with Cyber Security?
At PCI, we always implement the most-effective, up-to-date forms of cyber security available. Additionally, we proactively monitor our clients to ensure that any suspicious activity is investigated right away. Cyber security is a very important facet of what we do, and we take it seriously. If an attack does happen, we’ll have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place to restore your data and get you back in business quickly.
We’re ready to create effective IT solutions that meet the needs of your business. To get started, just ask our experts how we can help improve your business’s cyber security. Don’t worry, there’s no commitment necessary – we provide the quality service we’d like to receive ourselves. When you reach out to us for help, we’ll take the time to discuss your current situation and help you make smart decisions as you move forward with your business tech. Let’s get started today!