Small-business owners who think hackers only target large, million-dollar corporations could be in for a rude awakening. According to Symantec, 43 percent of cyber attacks specifically target small businesses, with no signs of this activity slowing down anytime soon.
In reality, small businesses are easier target to hack than their big business counterparts — and owners often feel they have no choice but to give into ransomware demands to keep their company up and running. Despite all best efforts, your business can’t afford much or any downtime from ransomware attacks: According to The Denver Post, 60 percent of small companies that have been hacked are unable to sustain their businesseslonger than six months after they’re initially hit.
But crossing your fingers so that you’re not next isn’t a strategy to combat hackers. Hacks like WannaCry, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers nationwide, proved hackers don’t discriminate, as many attacks targeted hospitals, small businesses and sole proprietors alike.
Unfortunately, no matter how proactive you are about updating your computer software, watching for phishing schemes and keeping an eye on your financial records, not all hacks can be prevented. That’s why small-business owners and solopreneurs need security tools to protect their livelihood. Here’s how to get started.
One of your first lines of defense against hackers is employing a cloud-based storage system to keep your files secure and monitored. For example, a service like Mozy offers military-grade encryption and protection, along with around-the-clock monitoring of your systems, to combat any malicious behavior.
So how do you go about protecting yourself? Start by setting up your computer on an automatic backup schedule to run weekly, daily or even hourly — it’s your choice — to keep your files in sync and up to date. And, even if a hacker does get into your system, you can wipe your device or buy a new one and restore the files from Mozy on the go.
Depending on the type of work you do from home, you could potentially benefit from a cyber insurance policy. Companies like Sony relied on cyber insurance during its biggest hacks. And experts speculate that Sony’s robust insurance policy most likely covered computer repairs or replacements as well as lost productivity, among other issues.
Now, it’s a common misconception that a general liability policy will cover you in a hack, or that cyber insurance is too expensive. Even small-business owners can benefit from securing a cyber insurance policy, which generally covers liability for a data breach that exposes sensitive customer information, at an affordable price. Most importantly, these policies can also help cover legal fees and costs associated with recovering data and repairing damaged systems.
DDoS Mitigation Providers
Hackers often break into computers and networks with a large-scale distributed denial of service attack, which can overwhelm websites until they crash. The resulting outage can last for days or weeks, taking businesses out of operation for a small time period, if not down completely.
But there are tools on the market to specifically combat DDoS issues. A service like NSFOCUS offers a DDoS mitigation service for an all-in-one cybersecurity solution. In addition to notifying you when your website is being attacked, the service can stop hackers in their tracks before they’re able to break into your system.
Coming up with a security plan for your small business doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. Ultimately, the tools you choose should keep you safe — and give you greater peace of mind — from a hack when running an at-home business.