For once, big businesses and small businesses are on a level playing field. Unfortunately that level field is: being attacked by Cyber Criminals. Don’t make the assumption that only major companies like JP Morgan and Home Depot are the only ones getting cyber attacked these days.
Truth be told many of the cyber attacks being done on businesses are against medium and small businesses. The fact of the matter is that major juggernauts like Citibank and Coca Cola have millions of dollars they can invest in protecting themselves against cyber criminals. So where does that leave you?
Who’s after me and why?
Before you start running around looking for the solution to this problem you need to be made aware of whom the major players are in this underground criminal world. First off you have the:
- Programmers: This sneaky lot is behind the virus that infects a businesses’ computer network.
- Carders: Carders specialize in selling stolen credit and debit card data. Carders have been known to transfer a person’s data onto blank cards and then selling them to the biggest bidder or using the cards themselves.
- Hackers: There’s is nothing a hacker loves more than breaking into a company’s PC network through their vulnerabilities.
- Social engineers: Through their creative means Social Engineers trick people into handing over sensitive and private information, visiting websites and downloading malicious viruses.
- Rogue systems providers: You can call these the middle man. A rogue system provider provides servers to cyber thieves.
So what is a small business owner like me to do?
Now that you know who is out there you may want to start to consider looking for some professional help. The guys over at Identity Defenders are more than qualified to help. With their many years of experience and their wide range of services Identity Defenders have been providing their customers with piece of mind.
For you other folks who are still on the fence about professional Identity Theft protection we would like to offer up this list of steps you can take to improve your businesses online security.
Step 1: Encrypt your data
Anytime you are storing data, or as other like to call it, when data is at rest (data that is not being transmitted over the internet) you want to make sure it is encrypted. Think of encrypting as coding your data. Only you and people who have access (the decoder ring!) can decipher and use it.
Step 2: Secure your hardware
Although we are talking about cyber criminals one of our recommendations is that you soup up your businesses physical security. Alarms, cameras, computer locks, these are all useful items to keep you from being cyber attacked. A stolen business server, computer or cell phone can bring havoc to your business.
Step 3: Lock your network
When you leave your office for the day you roll down the gate and lock the doors, correct? So why would it be any different for your network? Leaving an unlocked network is just asking for trouble. Once an unlocked Wi-Fi hot spot is found, crooks are as good as in the company’s front door. To protect yourself against this make sure to give your network a password or use a wired network. A wired network is more secure. Hackers would need to plug into physical outlets or hack modem ports to gain entry.
Step 4: Install anti-malware and anti-virus protection
Malware has been known to install code that runs in the background of your computers, these codes can capture keystrokes and login information; which in turn are sent to hackers. Keeping up to date anti-malware and anti-virus software installed will better your chances of not downloading a nasty bit of code.
Step 5: Educate your employees
Keep your employees informed on any new software addition to your systems. The fact of the matter is your employees will most likely be logged into the network more than you will. They too should keep an eye out and follow your guidelines to ensure that your network is not compromised.
Step 6: Hire security
Nothing beats an extra pair of trained eyes. Companies like Identity Defenders can provide you and your company with the privacy it needs. Your odds of deflecting an attack greatly improve with us by your side. For more information on how we can help your business stay secure, contact us today!