Cyber security: A BIG concern for small businesses

Cyber security: A BIG concern for small businesses

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When cyber security breaches hit large companies, the news makes headlines around the country. We recently saw this when a single hacker stole troves of personal information from Capital One Financial Corporation.

These types of hacks are certainly noteworthy because they affect millions of people, and put their personal information in jeopardy. But, at the end of the day, Capital One will eventually survive this cyber security nightmare, even if it requires millions of dollars to address the fallout.

Scenarios that fail to get any press is when a small business is struck by a similar hack, and these instances are very prevalent. Even worse, most companies are not able to recover from serious cyber security breaches, which is why the stakes are so much higher for small businesses.

Small businesses are a common target — is your business ready?

One of the common mistakes that small business owners make is assuming that their companies are too small for hackers to even think about. These business owners assume that hackers gravitate to large caches of information for a bigger payout.

This is flawed thinking and can lull small business owners into a false sense of security. Virtually every small business utilizes technology to operate most facets of their companies. This includes personal information, payment information and a lot more. With this information being stored digitally, it’s going to be enticing for hackers, regardless of how big your business might be.

Small businesses need to take cyber security very seriously and prepare as if a hack were imminent — because it probably is.

Limited resources is a major obstacle for small businesses

Small businesses are prime targets for another reason: They often don’t have the sophisticated cyber security measures in place that a large corporation would. This makes them a soft target for experienced hackers.

Even if your company is unable to employ in-house IT professionals, outsourcing this very important work to competent and reputable professionals is a must. Small businesses might feel cash-strapped and unable to invest in cyber security measures because they think their money is best spent elsewhere.

These businesses need to start treating cybersecurity as a priority, especially considering that most small businesses that suffer a serious data breach eventually go out of business. Your business could be on the line — approach your cyber security infrastructure with that mentality. This means staying updated on security patches and thinking about your cyber security strategy every week.

Bootstrapping your business might come with costly cybersecurity mistakes

Small businesses that are trying to stay financially lean and mean will flock to free, or cheap, tools. While there are many great resources available to lean start-ups, many of them come with security concerns.

Is your business using free, out-of-the-box Cloud-based services? Are you doing work from the local coffee shop and using their public WiFi? Or, are the few members of your team circulating passwords haphazardly?

These all present legitimate security concerns. It might not seem like a big deal with your business in its infancy, but it’s essential that you create a more robust cyber security strategy as quickly as possible to protect your company as it grows.

Small businesses must stay vigilant on the cyber security front. It’s an essential step to ensuring your business thrives.