Running a small business is not easy and for the last 5 years, my team and I have worked incredibly hard to put our business in a place that is profitable, something which we have been able to achieve. As a small business, there are many things which you can pay for when it comes to running the company and they must all be weighed up before spending any cash. This involves weighing up the pros and the cons and looking into what sort of return you can expect on your investment, then a tough decision must be made Something which I was recommended to do from early on was to invest in high-level cybersecurity for our systems, and I must say that for the first 2 years the thought didn’t even cross my mind. I knew that we had some sensitive information on our systems but to even consider getting attacked just seemed like a stretch, especially given our small operation.
At the beginning of the third year, I spoke with an old friend of mine Bharat Bhise HNA. Bharat has worked in computers and in particular in cybersecurity for many years, and he had some home truths to tell me about cybercrime. Bharat spoke to me at length about the dangers of not having cybersecurity in place and it certainly worked. I invested in tightening up the security of my small business and here is why small business is so at risk from these attacks.
Simple to Carry Out
Hackers are able to break into small businesses like ours without even breaking a sweat, and they know that it is highly likely that a small business either has no security at all, or it is running outdated security which is tantamount to having no security at all. What these cybercriminals are now doing, and what they have realized, is that they can hack 10 small businesses with ease, and with a massively low risk of getting caught, instead of taking on one big for which they may very well get caught. On top of this, they know that they will not be hit hard by the law if they get caught trying to hack into a small business.
If a cybercriminal has their eyes on a big prize and they go after a multi-national giant or perhaps even a government agency, they know that the second that it is discovered the law enforcement agencies are going to be looking for them. If however a small office in the middle of a high street is hacked, no matter what information is taken, the police aren’t going to bust their butts to try and catch the person responsible, unless they do so a number of times in the same area. The hackers know that they have a far better chance of getting away with it if they focus on low hanging fruit.
In the main, it is not the hackers who are looking to commit any other crime than the hack itself. If they steal or obtain any sensitive information as part of the hack then they are doing it for one of two reasons. The first reason is that they have been hired by someone and getting paid to obtain certain pieces of information, which they will then pass on for the agreed fee. The second reason for a hack such as this is so that they can steal information which they will then auction to the highest bidder on the deep web. More often than not the information which is popular and which can be easily sold is personal information and details such as social security numbers, names and addresses which can be sued for all manner of things from making fake passports to opening bank accounts. These details most certainly can be found on a small business’s computer system, and it doesn’t require a big risky hack to get their hands on enough information to help make them some serious money.
Whether you care to admit it or not, the world has changed a great deal in the last 10 to 15 years and the way in which we all rely on computers has changed with it. The result is that small businesses most certainly are at risk from a cyberattack and should such an attack take place, it could cause untold damage to your business and its reputation. This is why more small businesses owners should educate themselves on where they are at risk from an attack, and ensure that they have invested in proper cybersecurity which will ensure that their business and the information which they store remains safe from the hands of cybercriminals.
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