Big companies such as Sony, Verizon, and Experian have all landed themselves in the news due to hackings that have left sensitive user information out in the open, but cyber criminals are beginning to target small businesses through scams. These generally fall into three categories including spear phishing, fake emails, and malware. Let’s examine these scams and how you can protect your business from the dangers lurking online.
The most common and successful form of phishing is spear phishing. According to Symantec’s 2017 Internet Security Threat Report, spear phishing emails are sent to approximately 400 businesses everyday, leading to $3 billion in losses over the past three years. In lamest terms, phishing is the attempt to retrieve sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and financial documents via email while pretending to be a trusted entity. This is a targeted attempt in which cyber hackers gather information about targets and trick them into providing data that could be used to steal money. If you receive an email that appears to be from someone you know but it contains an unusual request, double check the sender name to see the return address. If it doesn’t match the email for your contact, do not reply and notify IT.
Another common scam comes in the form of an email from a company to which you do business, such as a bank, social media site, or business you frequent. An email will ask the recipient to click on the link contained within, which will redirect you to a fake website that may look similar to the actual website. The goal is to steal information that is entered. Never click a link in an email unless it comes from a reputable source. If you ever receive an email from a company, open a separate browser window and enter the known URL to ensure you are on the right site.
Short for malicious software, malware is a software program designed to infiltrate your computer and cause damage. This ranges from stealing data to disabling systems, deleting or corrupting files and spying on you. Trojan horses, ransomware, and worms are all types of malware that can be dangerous for a small business. While you can also run into malware through visiting an infected site, it is most frequently transmitted via email. According to Symantec, one in 131 emails contain malware in a link or attachment. If you receive a questionable email, be extra cautious and trust your instinct.
While spam filters and antivirus software is always a good idea for any small business, email attacks tend to have a success rate of about 20%. Brian Cozzi, Inc. understands how important it is to keep your business’s content secure. They ensure that all of their websites are provided with security measures to prevent against cyber attacks. To learn more about various vulnerabilities your company may be facing, contact us today!
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Business
So you want to start a business but you don’t know the steps to take to get there. Entrepreneurship is no simple journey. It entails a significant amount of time, hard work, failure, and rebuilding. But a true entrepreneur is not afraid of the struggles that come with such a rewarding endeavor. If you are ready to start your company, there are quite a few things to know and steps to follow before taking the plunge.
Being a small business owner means wearing a lot of hats ranging from a customer service representative, accountant, and project manager. This leaves little room to focus on marketing. One of the best ways to market your business is through local press coverage. The primary goal is to attain new customers and make your business known. While media coverage is a goal of many businesses, it is a tedious task.