My good friend Bharat Bhise HNA founder and cybersecurity sage tells me some truly astonishing stories when it comes to the world of cybercrime. Recently I was chatting with Bharat and he was telling me about how many more criminals are now targeting small businesses rather than going after the larger, potentially more lucrative companies. The reason behind this is very simple, they can hack multiple small businesses who are easy to break into owing to poor security, and they have a very slim chance of ever getting caught. It is for this reason why small businesses who heavily use computer systems simply must ensure that they have cybersecurity installed. If you don’t have it, then here is what a hack may look like.
You’ll first notice that something is wrong when your systems go down, your website will be offline and any POS or online systems which you have inside the business will be offline. Now at first you are going to be unlikely to have any idea that you are being hacked, so you may reboot the systems, switch them off and back on again, but of course this won’t work. You’ll call tech support who may take a couple of hours to attend you at which point they’ll identify the hack, all the while your business can’t operate.
Even if the tech team are able to identify that you are under attack, they aren’t going to be able to put a stop to it right away, as they will have to work out how the hacker is getting in. Your system will be completely analyzed, the gap will be found and then they will have to deinstall and reinstall just abut every piece of software that you have, analyzing each one first to find any backdoors which may have been left, this could take at least a day or two, and you’ll still be offline.
You are duty bound now to let your customers and your staff know that you have been hacked and that their data may be at risk. This will involve a huge email session, again taking you away from running the business. Naturally your customers are going too want answers as to how you have let this happen, and damage limitation will be how you spend the coming days.
After the tech team have finished doing their job you will have to buy some security software to prevent further attacks, which you ideally would have done before all of this began. Only now can you get back to work.
As you can see, a simple hack for a cybercriminal is going to result in you losing days of trade, paying the staff for a job they cannot do, paying a tech team to fix the issue and potentially damaging your reputation in the process, is it really worth the risk of not properly protecting the business?