Cyberattacks are a substantial risk for small business as they can wreak havoc on a company and cause serious damages. Cyber attacks can take the form of many different things, such as malware infestation, phishing and even hacking of devices.
Any of these occurrences can strike small businesses and can really hinder their progress as their reputation and profit can take a huge hit, with some attacks even rendering a company inoperable. They’re not rare either, as in one whole year 67% of small to medium businesses reported some form of cyber-attack, so to help ensure that it’s not your business that’s effected by this crime, here is how hacking can damage a small business, and how you can protect your business from this occurrence.
Loss or Damage to Electronic Data
Some cyber attacks target your computer’s data and files, and as a result can damage, corrupt or even delete some of your most important and sensitive data. This is done through the infestation of worms and malware that can edit and alter the code of your files which can corrupt them and make them inaccessible.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important that the devices on your business network are installed with robust anti-virus, as this software can identify and destroy malware on your computer before it becomes an issue. Managed IT services such as INFINIT Consulting, Inc. can install the best anti-virus on your business’s computers, while also providing other IT services that can enhance your business. Another way to protect yourself from this is to make sure you create back-up files of your most important files and data and store it somewhere else like in an external hard drive or on cloud storage. This is a good protective measure as it means if data is lost it can still be accessed through another medium.
Recovering from a security breach and hacking attach can cost a lot of money, as you’ll need to pay for IT services to fix the issues. If the issue is super bad you may have to fork out on replacement hardware so that you can continue to operate, or at the very least rent devices so that you can carry on working while the issues is resolved on your own hardware.
The down time suffered from a hacking attack can also cost the business income as it has the potential to seriously impact productivity meaning each day that passes without the issue being resolved can cost a business a lot of money due to a loss of revenue.
There’s a particularly nasty type of hacking that’s targeting a business that extorts them for a large sum of cash. This is known as ransomware and works by locking your key files away and requires a bribe to open them up again. Of course, paying the bribe can put your company out of pocket, and that doesn’t even guarantee that the files will be unlocked. The best way to protect your business is to train staff not to fall for any phishing scams and to create backups so that if this does happen you can still continue to operate.
A business not only stores the information of their staff, but also that of its customers. If there’s a data breach that gets access to this data, it puts all these customers at risk. As well as many things, this is a huge PR nightmare as it means that people might consider your company untrustworthy, damaging your reputation. Additionally, hackers can even take control of your business accounts and social media and start posing inappropriate things, which can further reduce the reputation you’ve worked hard to build.