Among the many hardships that small businesses in South Florida can generally face, one that is particularly detrimental today is cybercrime. Cybercrime can include ransomware attacks, viruses and more. Recent surveys of small businesses revealed that in 2013, 55% of respondents were victims of security breaches with the year. Moreover, 53% of those that were compromised were actually breached more than once in the same year.
A contributing factor to this issue is that because of their size, many small businesses wrongfully assume that they are not likely to ever be targets of an online security breach or data hack. This assumption often leads to more lax security practices, making these businesses susceptible to the attacks of cyber criminals. Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent being victim to cyber criminals. Below are some common yet avoidable security mistakes for small businesses to be mindful of.
1. Rushing Projects for Fast Turnaround Time
Most businesses big or small will pride themselves on their efficiency, but the pressure to live up to this claim can actually create risks sometimes. The high demand for IT-related projects tends to create particularly high-pressure situations within businesses, and studies have shown that many businesses have subsequently released projects that were not properly equipped with security features yet. With security often being the last aspect included in a project, many smaller businesses are left prone to cyber attacks. This can be prevented if security is simply made a priority at the beginning of a project, rather than at the end when time is running out.
2. Easy-to-Guess Passwords
If your password is easy to remember, then it is also most likely easy to guess. The mentality of “it’s so obvious that no one would ever bother trying it” is an all-too-dangerous false sense of security that ends up occurring when businesses create passwords for their systems. Statistics have shown that one-third of small business security breaches are caused by poor passwords. IT professionals can help protect against this by including two-tier authentication on systems.
3. Pointing Protection in the Wrong Direction
External threats to security are of course a huge concern or small businesses, but many make the mistake of believing that those on the outside are the only threat. Unfortunately, internal threats to security can be just as prominent. Surveys of small businesses have revealed that nearly half of all respondents considered pressure to protect against internal security threats to be even greater. There is often a family mentality coupled with a great deal of trust within small businesses, which, while understandable, also complicates this issue. Businesses can work against this by educating staff threats that are both intended and unintentional.