In a lot of ways, being a small business owner is like being a parent. Your business is your baby, and you need to protect it at all costs. With that said, you’ve probably already heard about cybercrime and the importance of maintaining good “online protection.”
But do you know why? What can a cyberattack affect, and how can you protect your business without it costing you an arm and a leg?
Cyberattacks can be devastating for businesses
Time after time, company after company, we’ve learned just how damaging a cyberattack can be to a business’s bottom line. Once criminals gain access into a company’s network of information, the can of worms has been opened and the damage can be severe.
Here are the top reasons business owners should do everything they can to secure their data:
- The loss of sensitive company and customer information. Think fast: How much data do you store every day for your business? Do you house customer data like Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses or phone numbers? Could you imagine if this info was leaked to a criminal? The problem becomes bigger than j you and your company—that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now, it’s all your customers’ issues now too, and they may experience identity theft because of it.
- The devastating financial costs. Cyberattacks are burdensome in many ways, but the financial toll an attack can take is unmatched, and it could potentially put you out of business. Not only are you paying for the theft of corporate info, identity theft repairs, and recovering from the theft of your company’s hard-earned money—you also could be dealing with a lawsuit and reputational damage as an outcome.
- They are more common than you may think, and the threat is increasing. Something this terrifying could only happen in a nightmare, right? Wrong. They happen every day, and you’ve probably seen the headlines. The largest and most respectable companies get hacked all the time, and more often than ever before. This is because so many of our daily actions, including how we now conduct business, is done online. We live in a world where we regularly use cloud services and global connection. Not to mention, hackers are just getting smarter and more ruthless about finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities in brittle systems.
- The damage to your business’s reputation. Once customer information has been exploited, the trust between you and them has been eroded and it’s hard to get it back. The loss of old and new customers as well as competitors can be devastating to your business.
- The legal consequences. As the aftermath of a cyberattack unravels, you may face legal fines, regulatory sanctions, or even a lawsuit. The fees associated with any legal matter will cost you, which is something you probably won’t be able to afford on top of all the other financial burdens that have accompanied the attack.
What can you do to prevent this from happening?
If you’re shaking in your boots after learning the many ways cybercrime can impact your business, good news: There are things you can do to stay proactive to prevent this from happening. The first step is learning how hackers gain access to your data in the first place. Here are the most common threats you need to look out for:
- Phishing: When hackers disguise themselves as a reputable company to get employees to cough up their password credentials. For example, have you ever received a “phishy” looking email from Amazon or Apple saying they need you to log in as soon as possible? Cue the red flags.
- Brute force: This is a hacker’s classic guessing game of possible password combinations until they gain access into your goldmine of data. This is why it’s encouraged to change up your passwords and make them complicated.
- Malware: Hackers use malicious programs to infect your computer with the intent to steal all the information on it.
It’s important to remember that any of these attacks can happen to anyone if they’re not aware of their surroundings. Stay proactive by doing the following:
- Train employees how to spot phishers. You may know to be skeptical about phishers, but do your employees? It’s critical for them to know the difference between a legitimate email and a fake one, so it’s encouraged to set up trainings.
- Encourage employees to create strong, unique passwords. In your trainings, emphasize this until they become weary of hearing about it. It is so important to protect your passwords.
- Don’t download anything unfamiliar. While it may sound like a no-brainer, it’s easy to assume something is legitimate when it’s posed as a reputable service. Make sure you do your homework before downloading anything and encourage employees to do the same.
- Back up your data. Don’t just store your data in one place. You want to have another copy on deck. The key is to store it in not just one but multiple offline places, like a file cabinet.
- Get strong protection. While being proactive is a start, it’s also necessary to shield your data with the right system that alerts you of threats and identifies vulnerable areas in your network.
It’s time for businesses to fight back. Get the right protection for yours.
As online crime continues to rise, we’re saying “Enough is enough.” Businesses deserve affordable protection that safeguards their data and keeps an eye out for criminals threatening to break in.
A cyberattack can damage more than just your small or mid-size business networks—it can also devastate your reputation and put your customers and employees at risk. By scanning your networks, IDShield discovers and fix vulnerabilities while staying on top of new risks. And we’ll provide you with a specialist to help resolve the vulnerabilities remotely.
In the event that your business is hacked, related expenses up to $100K with a Cyber-Protection Plan will help to put your business back on track quickly.
IDShield for Business provides the essential layers every business needs to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from a cyberattack.
This is a general overview of the IDShield for Business available from Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) for illustration purposes. LegalShield provides access to small business cyber protection and remediation services. For complete terms, coverage, and conditions, please see an IDShield for Business Essentials or Business Plus plan. A Cyber-Protection Plan (“Protection Plan”) is issued through a nationally recognized carrier. LegalShield/IDShield/IDShield for Business is not an insurance carrier. This covers certain losses and legal expenses as a result of a cyberattack. See a Protection Plan contract for complete terms, coverage, conditions, and limitations.