State sponsored cyber-attacks are becoming ever more daring. In recent events, the UK has joined the US in blaming Iran for a number of cyber-attacks against UK universities, while power plants across Europe are braced for attack in the light of the current escalation of tension with Russia. But these cyber-attacks are irrelevant to a small business, right? Most definitely not.
Online fraud and criminal activity today is all about mass automation. Small businesses may not be specifically selected, but they are being routinely targeted as part of mass surveillance activity, with criminals looking for those organisations that are not adequately protected.
Why? Because, en masse, holding multiple small businesses to ransom or embarking upon a fraud scheme results in a serious pay day. A hundred companies each losing £10,000 a time? It adds up. Fast.
One of biggest small businesses cyber security issues is that they are relying on nothing more than Anti-Virus (AV) tools. Yes, these tools are mature and typically keep pace with the astonishing speed with which cyber criminals evolve. They are also easy to use and easy to deploy – which has massively helped with their widespread adoption. But they don’t protect businesses against anything other than viruses.
Another popular small business cyber security issue is the vast amounts of sensitive business data that is routinely accessed remotely? The financial information in the Cloud being viewed by the FD waiting for a train, or the customer data being checked by the salesperson in the café before an important sales pitch? This data is accessed via public Wi-Fi – and that means it is fair game to any criminal with access to some easily downloaded hacking tools. So pretty much anyone.
The only way to safeguard this data in transit is through online encryption – but the problem is that while consumer encryption tools work to a degree, these products have simply not kept pace with the evolution of the cyber threat.
But, thankfully, that is beginning to change. The latest generation of online encryption is easy to deploy and easy to upgrade – just like AV. Plus they provide the ability to track and monitor to ensure all employees are using the technology correctly at all times.
The small business cyber-security issues aren’t going to get easier to tackle anytime soon, and it will be very tough to come to terms with the vulnerability created by the current generation of mass automated cyber threat, but the threat to small businesses is very real, so if you aren’t 100% confident in your IT security, it’s time to do something about it and get protected.
To find out more about why you need to take cyber security seriously as a small business, download our eBook "Dispelling the cyber security delusion in small businesses"
Privatise’s business VPN solution is the first internet privacy protection tool developed specifically to meet the practical needs of small and medium businesses.