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The Importance of Online Security to Small Businesses


It’s kind of obvious, in this day and age, that online security is incredibly important to any web user, whether individual surfers or businesses trying to improve their publicity. One of the first things that need to be considered when heading online is the level of security that is in place, because, unfortunately, cybercrime is rife – and yes, it could happen to you.

It can happen to anyone

While smaller businesses may not think that they could fall victim to a malicious attack, new information on website trends has shown that they are. A small business may not seem like as lucrative a target as a larger enterprise, but a recent Symantec infographic has shown considerable increases in the number of small businesses that have come under attack over the last 12 months. Therefore, it’€™s important that a small business doesn’€™t become complacent when it comes to online security and, while finances can be tough, investing in some level of security is essential if you want to protect the business’€™ assets.

Small businesses aren’t invisible or invincible

The Infographic comes in two parts (which can be found here and here) and helps to explain the trends that have been seen during 2012 and how they compare with 2011 statistics. The resource shows that small businesses should be more concerned about protecting their online activity -€“ something as simple of anti-virus software and a little forethought before clicking links in unknown emails can help reduce exposure to current threats. In previous years, larger enterprises have hogged the spotlight when it comes to cybercrime levels, but during 2012, there was an 18% rise in targeted attacks on small businesses (i.e. attacks aimed at individuals or groups within a specific company or industry in order to steal confidential information), compared to 2011 trends -€“ 31% of the total number recorded for the year.

Protect the network

It’s also important for businesses, regardless of their size, to consider network protection as well. The need for security doesn’€™t stop once the browser is closed; most businesses are connected to the network, and therefore the Internet, throughout the working day, meaning that the business network can be hacked at any time. Security breaches were seen during 2012, with 88% due to outside attacks. Businesses should ensure that there are ample security measures in place, such as firewalls and password-protected wireless access, so that they can minimise the chances of their network being compromised.

Educate employees

Educating any business employees was also shown to be an important aspect of online security. Simple training and helping to broaden their knowledge of what phishing is and the various scams that are popular can help to reduce the chances of falling victim. The second part of the infographic shows a considerable increase in social media phishing, through fake gift cards and survey scams, which could easily lead to compromise. Conscientiousness, in most cases, is all a business needs to stay ahead of the game.

It’s vital that a business owner doesn’t fall into the mind-set of complacency – an online or network attack can happen to anyone.

Written By

Freelance writer and content marketer

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