Thursday 3 October 2013

Why Internet Security is Important to Small Businesses

Online security isn’t just important to businesses – it’s important to every user of the Internet. We all have something to lose when we’re online; we are all vulnerable. As an individual, knowing that your emails have been hacked is enough of a breach of privacy, let alone if you’re a business which has a lot more to lose.
Whether we like it or not, the increasing dominance of the Internet has brought with it a rise in hackers and cybercrime. The best way in which we can deal with the prevalence is by ensuring that we’re safe and secure, at home and at work.

Small businesses are becoming increasingly targeted. According to a part one of an infographic, targeted attacks on small businesses have risen by 13% between 2011 and 2012. The Symantec infographic, found in two parts, exposes some web threat trends that may be of interest to you and your business and may help you to understand the importance of internet security for small businesses.
The fact of the matter is, cybercrime can happen to anyone. Small businesses may not think that they’re vulnerable but the infographic shows that they are. It’s important the business owners don’t become complacent with an “it won’t happen to me” attitude. If suitable security measures are in place and updated regularly, the chance of a malicious attack is substantially smaller. Protecting yourself online isn’t just a technical measure though; it’s also down to you and the policies you implement so that every employee knows how to be as secure as possible while online.

Something as easy to install as reliable anti-virus software can help to maintain a high level of security for your business network. This sort of software is well worth the investment and, on the grand scale of things, is inexpensive too. Once it’s installed, it will help to spot any malicious activity, by warning you before opening attachments that it may deem suspicious, and also scanning the websites you visit and flagging up any that are vulnerable or are potential phishing sites.

As a business, your efforts shouldn’t stop at your online activity. You should also ensure that your business network is protected, too. Most small businesses that use more than one computer are connected to a network which can be targeted by unscrupulous third parties. According to the infographic mentioned, the vast majority of security breaches came from outside business networks, meaning that strong user passwords, wireless passwords and private SSIDs are essential.

By implementing some simple measures, your business will be as safe as possible and should, hopefully, be able to avoid any prolific security attack. Unfortunately, nothing you do will make you completely invincible, but ensuring that some element of protection is in place will mean that chances of your business being caught out are much less.

Your employees need to understand the importance of online security so that they don’t unwittingly cause your business to be victimised. Appropriate training and business policies should be put into place so that every working day can run smoothly.

Being aware of online security issues is the first step towards protecting yourself from cybercrime. Educate yourself and your staff to minimise the risk to your business.

by Roxanne

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