You wear many hats as a business owner. IT shouldn’t be one of them. But are the IT services you’re employing doing an effective job at stopping some of the biggest cybersecurity threats to small businesses today? If protecting against the threats posed by ransomware isn’t on the list, your small business might be in jeopardy.
Ransomware is a Bigger Threat Than You Might Think
Ransomware cost its victims $200 million in just the first three months of 2016. So what is it?
As the name implies, ransomware is when hackers take all of your business’s data (including sensitive financial information and customer details) hostage and demand a ransom. It hits suddenly, without warning. One night you close up shop as usual and the next morning you arrive at the office unable to open or delete any of your files. The only way to regain access is to pay up. Prolong payment and the ransom amount will increase.
Small and medium sized businesses like yours are the biggest victims of this threat. That’s because SMBs usually employ outside IT services to help manage their technology. If ransomware protection isn’t on the list, they’re the ones that are most likely to fork over the money to keep their business up and running.
It’s a Commercial Operation
Ransomware isn’t a new threat but it is quickly becoming an epidemic. There are commercial outfits running the game, making the hackers more powerful, effective, and downright destructive. These hackers are raking in upwards of millions of dollars each year preying on unsuspecting business owners.
If you’re not proactively working to protect your business from this growing threat, you’re in danger.
How Your Small Business IT Services Can Save You From Falling Victim
Train Your Team
Ransomware wreaks havoc after one person unsuspectingly opens a seemingly innocent file in an email. Training your team is the first line of defense against this threat. Your IT services provider can help talk to your employees and teach them about how to identify dangerous links or attachments to minimize the threat of your business being attacked.
Keep Your Security Software Up-To-Date
Anti-virus and anti-malware security software is essential in today’s business environment. But you can’t just install it and then forget about it. It must be kept current to stop the latest strains of threats. The company providing you with this essential service should ensure you’re always up-to-date with your computer security software.
Backup Your Data
The best way to protect against ransomware? Back up your data!
Data protection software will regularly scan your computer and take snapshots of your data. If you’re hit with a demand for ransom, you can hit the reset button to the last snapshot, essentially turning back the clock and restoring your company’s data to before the attack.
Not Sure if You’re Protected?
The risk isn’t worth it. Let us know if you’re in doubt about whether or not you’re protected. We’ll do a free security audit on your IT to expose any potential threats and show you how you can get more secure.
Do you cringe when you hear you need to backup your data? You know it’s important, but the thought of implementing a backup system in your small business sounds daunting and costly.
Unfortunately, in today’s world where cyber security threats run rampant and business is done online, having a backup plan is no longer an option. Protecting your data by backing it up has become a non-negotiable.
Fortunately, simple backup plans have made this essential technology more affordable and easier to implement.
Data Loss is More Common Than You Think
Data loss doesn’t just happen to large businesses, or companies with lots of servers. It happens daily to unsuspecting small businesses for a large variety of reasons.
- In the U.S., a hard drive dies every 15 seconds, according to Carnegie Mellon Universities.
- There are 3.5 new hacking threats every second, according to Trend Micro.
- Neglected software updates and patches can lead to lost files.
- Human errors lead to deleted files, misplaced USB drives, and lost hardware.
- Natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime, and in any business.
- Ransomware is a fast-growing threat to small businesses.
The list of reasons could go on and on. Regardless of how or why data loss occurs, it immediately puts a halt to your operations. The lack of productivity and prolonged downtime can chip away at your profits, costing your business beau coup bucks.
The True Cost of Data Loss
Many small businesses don’t realize the true costs of not having a protection plan in place until it’s too late. When disaster has struck and you’re struggling to recover your customer’s information, your business intelligence, and other essentials, you’re not working on your business. Your business is suffering from downtime. That downtime can add up quickly.
- 80% of data interruptions close a business for a day or more, according to a 2009 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Survey;
- 43% of businesses that suffer a major data loss never reopen their doors, according to studies at the University of Texas;
- And 70% go out of business within a year, according to DTI/Pricewaterhousecoopers.
The reason? 75% of customers are more likely to stop dealing with businesses who experience data loss because they don’t trust them anymore, according to the Ponemon Institute’s “Reputation Impact of a Data Breach” report.
How to Simplify the Data Backup Process
Are you sold on the importance of data backup yet? I hope so. But if you’re like most small business owners, you’re hesitant to start backing up your data because you’re busy. You have too much going on to research backup solutions and implement a backup process.
Backing up your data doesn’t have to break the bank, or break your back (figuratively, of course). There are a few simple things you can do to protective your business’s most sensitive information and avoid disastrous downtime.
Get an External Hard Drive
External hard drives come in all shapes and sizes. The amount of data you have and the features you need will determine which hard drive is right for you to use as backup.
You can hard drives with wifi-enabled backup, which means you don’t have to have a clunky mess of cables just to secure your data.
You can get hard drives that are smaller than shoeboxes, which means you don’t need to have bulky hardware cluttering up your office.
There are a wide variety of options that will work effectively to keep your business data safe that don’t require you to sacrifice closet space to store large equipment or for you to remember to move your data over so it stays safe. Set up is easy, storage is small, and backing up your data is simple.
Supplement With Software
Having hardware as your exclusive form of business backup can still mean you’re at risk of disaster if a fire, flood, or other natural disaster breaks out. Supplementing your backup plan with software is a smart idea.
There are plenty of software solutions that work quietly in the background to store your most up-to-date data. Carbonite, for example, sits on your computers and constantly takes snapshots of your data so if something goes wrong, you have the latest version of your files. There’s no risk of forgetting to update. It’s done for you. Simple.
Ready to Get Started?
Data backup isn’t optional. It’s necessary.
If you’d like help finding the right simple backup solution for your business, we’re just a phone call or email away. Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can secure your business without tremendous work or high cost.