Over the years I have been in contact with many small businesses and sole traders and one thing stands out to me: –
Small Businesses Don’t Take IT Security Seriously – These are just a few comments I have picked up over the years from business owners and each time I hear one a chill goes down my spine.
“My friend installed free anti-virus software for me, so I am protected. I don’t need to pay for that”
“My business is too small; nobody is going to try and hack me”
“I use an Apple Mac, it’s secure!”
“Everything is stored on my computer; I don’t use the cloud, so I am safe from hackers”
“I let my staff access everything, I trust them completely”
Shall we take a further look at some of these quotes?
Free Anti-Virus Software
It is free for a reason. Most will constantly remind you to upgrade to a paid version. Most are not updated as often as they should be, leaving the users vulnerable to cyber-attack. Most have advertising built in, which is one of the ways your computer can be infected in the first place!
The cost of a business ordinated anti-virus solution is considerably cheaper than having to deal with a virus infection or cyber-attack.
My Business is too Small
Despite what you may hear in the media, hackers tend not to pick a specific target to attack. They leave that to software which does not care that your business is small and just starting out. Automated attacks such as ransomware will just encrypt your business files and hold you to ransom. Quite often even if you do pay for the encryption key chances are it won’t work. This kind of attack takes no effort on behalf of the hacker and is so profitable call centres have been setup in some countries to deal with payments which are made via bitcoin and untraceable.
I Have an Apple Computer
Apple do have a reputation for making their computers more secure than Microsoft do (remember the adverts they used to run? https://youtu.be/ZwQpPqPKbAw) However the more popular they have become has resulted in adware and malware being written for them.
Not having any security protection installed is not a good idea and will put you at risk.
I Don’t Use the Cloud – I am Safe
A common misconception is that not using cloud services means that you are safe from hackers, I have spoken to some business owners think that this is true. If anything, not using cloud services such as OneDrive and Google Drive to store your business files can make you more vulnerable to ransomware attacks. OneDrive for example has systems in place that can determine if you are being subjected to a ransomware attack and protect the files stored on the cloud, they give you an additional level of protection.
Also consider that if your computer has hardware issues or is stolen, without a cloud backup you could lose all your data. Full system backups can also protect you against ransomware and hardware failure.
I Trust My Staff Completely
Having trustworthy staff is a great thing to have! However, issues do arise. A competitor may offer them a higher salary, do you trust them enough not to leave with you’re a copy of your client database? What if they ask you for a pay raise and don’t like being told its not possible? It is also not unknown for an employee to setup a rival business and try to take your clients with them.
Are your staff spending more time on Facebook than looking after your customers? Are they accessing websites that could put your business at risk? Giving staff unrestricted access to the internet could damage your business.
Social engineering is on the rise, are your staff savvy enough to spot a phishing email or a phone call from a potential thief? Training packages are available to educate staff to reduce the risks.
As a rule, only give staff access to the bare minimum they need to do the job you are paying them to do and audit that access so you know what they are doing.
How Do We Help Protect Businesses?
- We supply monitored businesses orientated anti-virus software. We make sure its up to date, working and we are alerted to any infections found.
- We ensure that the software on your computer is kept up to date, making it more secure.
- We carry out regular maintenance on your computer ensuring that it runs smoothly, no more slowing down over time.
- We monitor your computer for potential hardware problems allowing us to act before it becomes an issue.
- We include remote IT support with our packages, giving you a helping hand should you need it.
- We can fully backup your computer to the cloud allowing us to restore it quickly in the event of hard drive failure.
Our IT support packages start at £5 per week (for each computer), less than a cheap bottle of supermarket Merlot.
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