Small Businesses Now #1 Target for Hackers


A new report by cybersecurity firm 4iQ reveals data breach attacks to small businesses surged over 420% in 2018, exposing almost 15 billion identity records including credit card numbers, bank accounts, and email addresses. According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, small businesses now account for 58% of malware attack victims. In 2017, cyberattacks affected 61% of SMBs according to a Ponemon Institute report.

Why the increased threat to small businesses?

First, smaller companies are being increasingly targeted because they don’t have sophisticated security and larger companies are getting tougher and tougher to hack. Small companies are more vulnerable and often have valuable information. Second, the number of hackers has dramatically increased because the dark web has made powerful hacking tools available to anyone and a marketplace to easily sell stolen data.

Think your small business is below the radar and too small to be hacked?

Think again. Regardless of your industry or company size, you’ll likely have data thieves want to steal such as confidential customer information that can be easily sold to identity thieves on the dark web. Your database may also contain other kinds of confidential data such as customer credit card numbers, employee personal records, and trade secrets. Plus, hackers don’t just steal data, they can corrupt it or hold it for ransom (ransomware).

What you should do:

1. Make sure your employees are properly trained.

You need to have procedures for securing data. Most security problems, particularly at small companies, are caused by employee-related errors – clicking on bad websites, opening up infected files, etc.  Make sure your employees are well aware of potential problems to avoid putting your small business at risk.

At a minimum, employees should:

  • Change passwords on a regular basis
  • Not open emails, download files or click on links from suspicious sources
  • Ignore popup messages
  • Keep laptops secure (password protected and locked away at night)

2. Secure remote worker access.

If an employee or contractor is working remote, then they’re connecting to your network through online services which have a risk of being hacked. Even employees who bring their laptop home risk having their laptop lost or stolen.

3. Look for signs you may have been hacked.

  • Login problems. A hacker may have locked your account after too many unsuccessful attempts to log in. Or worse, they got in and changed the password locking you out.
  • Popup messages, anti-virus warnings, new toolbars, should raise concerns.
  • Slower network. Can be caused by hackers transferring files out of your network.
  • Fake or phishing emails sent to your employees.
  • High turnover and/or disgruntled ex-employees.

Some of the ways we help protect our clients from data breach threats:

  1. Multilevel security. It takes more than antivirus software to protect your business. We can recommend the best tools for your specific environment and budget and will use a multi-layered approach to implement and manage those tools for you.
  2. Affordable remote access solutions. Many companies think remote access tools are out of their reach. However, secure remote access is easy, offering you both the productivity and accessibility your employees need, while keeping your data and networks secure from threats.
  3. The best defense is a good offense. Our OneCare managed services plan offers companies the ability to proactively protect their networks.
  4. Responding to clients promptly. Each ticket that comes in is reviewed and escalated within 12 minutes, regardless of how the ticket is generated.

At Dataworks, we understand what threatens your business. Combating those threats requires a comprehensive approach to IT from a provider who will respond quickly every time you call. Don’t wait for trouble to strike your networks. Make sure your company is protected today.

Find out if you’re at risk. Contact us at (425) 687-6185 or online for an assessment.

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