The technology revolution that has arisen within the last decade has also caused some serious changes to the way the business world operates. Along with these changes come new threats. Businesses small and large are at a higher risk than ever of falling victim to predators. Viruses, leaks, theft and deceit are very real threats they are facing every day. Here are some of the most common ways businesses are at risk.
# 1. Disgruntled Employees
With the changing face of technology and a culture of openness in many companies, more and more sensitive information is being shared within the workplace. This means some employees are trusted with precious details about their company’s inner workings beyond what is known to the public. Trade secrets, sales and marketing decisions, customer details, product development details and financial data can all be devastating to a business if it is known by an employee that becomes disgruntled and wants to hurt the company.
While it’s great that companies have embraced a culture of openness, it’s important to use discretion when disclosing sensitive information with employees. Healthy working environments should be maintained and nurtured to keep office morale positive, but also to keep this sensitive information secure.
# 2. BYOD Policies
These programs involve employees bringing their own smartphone or tablet to work to download and share company information as part of their jobs. This may initially seem to be a simple way for companies and corporations to save on their tech budget, but they should be wary of the technical security nightmare it can cause. It’s nearly impossible to track what information is shared through devices owned privately by employees.
But there certainly are ways to make BYOD policies work for a company. It’s a good idea to implement a specific policy about employee-owned devices, and put firewalls in place so administrators can monitor which devices have access to company programs and infrastructure.
# 3. Targeted Cyber Attacks
A recent study by U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology estimated that roughly 20% of all cyber attacks happen to businesses with 250 or fewer employees, and around 60% of them close their doors within six months of the attack.
No company is too large or too small for a cyber attack, however small businesses in particular have become greater targets for hackers. Hackers have evolved from computer nerds who need a hobby to sophisticated faceless criminals who will chip away at whatever armor is in place. These cyber criminals are on the lookout for your employee details like home addresses, social security numbers and family information. Your customer’s information is a hot commodity too.
# 4. Telemarketing and Email Scams
Just like personal phone lines can be targets for phone scams, so can businesses. People calling to sell advertisements or services should always be questioned before giving any information, no matter how small. Phishing emails gather information with the purpose of using it against consumers and businesses alike.
Emails may appear to be from relevant people and organizations, but have really been orchestrated by cyber criminals. Many companies have IT professionals to prevent such scams, but there are also companies that provide security services for businesses that don’t have in-house help.
Don’t get caught off guard by cyber criminals. Educate yourself on the threats that are out there and protect your business from falling victim to these common risks.
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