Why Small Business Owners Are More Likely to Be Cybercrime Victims
Your website may be your most essential digital branding tool. It brings people to your company’s virtual doors, drives revenue by selling your products and services, and functions as your public “face.”
Small- and medium-sizes companies may spend up to $15,000 on a new or upgraded website. They make that investment willingly because they know how important it is to their sales funnel and their branding efforts.
Unfortunately, every minute of every day, hackers will maliciously try to break into your website in order to steal information or to take your data hostage. The National Cybersecurity Institute reports, “Fifty percent of small- to medium-sized businesses have been the victims of cyberattacks and over 60% of those attacked go out of business.” That’s a scary thought, especially since there’s data to support that the fact businesses with less than 250 employees are definite targets for cyberattacks. The report also points out that cyberattacks cost small businesses more than $20,000 per attack. A large company would be able to absorb that amount – but small and medium-sized businesses would likely have a more difficult time, and that’s the average cost of just one attack.
A small business hacker may try to:
- Steal your data or financial information. Your propriety information—your software, hardware, products, services, bank data, and more, will be available for a hacker to exploit. This includes sensitive information like your company’s bank and credit card numbers, in some instances.
- Lock everyone out of your website. Some hackers will instigate a DDoS (Denial of Service Attack) that overpowers a site with traffic (and not the good kind of web traffic). It doesn’t take much time to plan this kind of attack, and it can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars every day. Neither you nor your customers will be able to use your site.
- Demand ransom. Another kind of cybersecurity crime is ransomware. You’ll probably seen it in the news recently, because there have been several attacks during the past few months. Hackers encrypt your data and refuse to let anyone access it until a ransom has been paid.
Keep in mind – when we say “hacker,” we don’t necessarily mean someone on the other side of the world sitting in front of a computer. It could be someone down the street who calls you, pretending to be your bank or your IT provider, asking questions of you or your staff in order to gain access to your system.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Business?
You must be proactive. According to a 2014 survey from identity protection company CSID, 31 percent of small businesses do not have processes in place to protect against security threats. If you have an IT department, be sure that the department director knows what steps to take to prevent cyberattacks. If you don’t have an IT department or a dedicated IT staff member, be sure that you know how up-to-date all of your software is. Hackers can easily exploit your system when out-of-date software isn’t up to the proper standards.
Higher Images offers hosting and IT security services for your website. Every day, we review every website and work to ensure that hackers can’t get in and steal your information. All website updates are made promptly and our in-house IT director is an extension of your own IT department, no matter how large or small. Call us today to learn more about Higher Images’ hosting services.