Cyber thieves are constantly working to figure out new ways to infiltrate your network and steal your data. No one is too small or too large to be a target, so it is paramount that business owners and their staff be vigilant in their measures to prevent cyber crimes from occurring.

 

The stats are alarming, with 58% of small businesses being targeted through phishing scams. In addition, 17% of Canadian SMEs were victims of a cyber attack in 2017.  Criminals know that small businesses don’t have the staff and finances to have the same level of security as larger corporations, so they become easy prey. This has to stop.

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As thieves find new ways to attack your business, you need to find new ways to counter their efforts. Phishing has become one of the most common types of attack for businesses, with the criminals using someone on the inside to essentially let them in.

 

This happens without employees realizing they have done anything wrong until the damage is found. This can be something like getting an email saying their account is locked and they need to change the password. They are directed to a dummy site that looks practically identical to the real site. They log in, create a password, and unwittingly give all the access a criminal needs to steal money, data, and more.

 

In addition to this, you could experience the following:

 

  • Malware as an attachment to an email. Opening the email opens the computer up to the malware and, depending on what the computer is connected to, this could spread through the entire network.
  • Requests for information where they claim to be a high-ranking person within the company.

 

So what can you do?

 

  • Educate your team on how to identify phishing scams.
  • Enable spam blockers to minimize the flood of spam emails that are received.
  • If you are going to share sensitive data through email, it needs to be encrypted.
  • Utilize two-factor authorization in order to make it harder for malicious agents to gain access.
  • Get cyber liability insurance.
  • Create a data breach response plan (detailing your first steps, how you address the problem with the press, staff, etc.).
  • Regularly test your security measures for weaknesses. Think like a hacker: How would they try to get in?

 

You don’t want to be a statistic. By being prepared and educating yourself and your staff on what to look for and how to respond, you can protect your business from cyber criminals who want to prey on you.