As published in The Q Review Autumn 2020 Magazine. Follow the link to Subscribe and receive your FREE copy each quarter!
You might be expecting me to provide a million reasons with vast supporting statistics.
But, let’s be honest.
Reports of big businesses losing data – and cash – to devious IT nerds no longer raise your eyebrows to the heights they once did, do they?… ZZZzzz…
Didn’t think so.
The big cyber-crime stats have lost their impact. You’re used to hearing them and after all “you’re just a small to medium business, so it’s unlikely to happen to you” right?
So, let’s change the question and keep it closer to home.
What would you do with $488,692.27 added to your bottom line?
Grow your business? Get the bank off your back? Make payroll? Reward your team? Join YOLO Traveller on a luxury adventure?
Because that’s the amount of cash we at Office Solutions IT witnessed businesses lose to cyber-crime last year.
Cyber Theft Affects SMEs Too
Now to confirm, these are not multi-million-dollar empires. But local Western Australian small to medium enterprises just like yours. And that amount of loss can be the difference between running a business, and having a business to run at all.
So how does it happen?
Lots of ways, and a visit to our Cyber Security Toolkit at the foot of this article will reveal them all.
But I can tell you the number one method is… exploiting your team members! After all, why bother to break in, when you can just ask to be let in?
Cyber criminals know that you position your business against your bigger competitors with the offer of a more personalised service. You are trustworthy, genuine and willing to go out of your way, right? It’s what sets you apart – but it’s also what cyber criminals look to leverage in order to bypass your security.
It’s called social engineering and it’s most commonly used in phishing emails. These are deceptive emails that encourage your team to click a link and enter their confidential details into a fake website.
How Do You Protect Your Business
This begs the question, how do you protect your business and stop your team from inadvertently allowing devious IT geeks walking in like they own the place?
Here’s two methods that successful Perth businesses use to improve their cyber security without increasing their operational costs.
Method #1: Install Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two Factor Authentication, aka “Uggh I have to enter a second code on top of my password?”, is a must!
And yes, while this adds a (small) additional inconvenience, it also means you can relax knowing your data is protected, even if your password is compromised.
Action: Setting up 2FA is simple and cost effective. In fact, there are free applications available, so talk to your IT provider about installing 2FA. It’s quick, secure and could save you a significant sum if disaster was to strike.
Method #2: Educate your team
Educating your team is actually the single best thing you can do to help protect your business from falling into the wrong hands. Your IT provider has the latest information on the current cyber security threats to your business, which means there’s no one better to train your team members on what to look out for.
Action: Ask your IT provider to host a cyber security training session for your team, and if that’s not available, you can join the Office Solutions IT free monthly training session here at osit.com/events. With limited resources, small and medium businesses are prime targets for cyber criminals. And with almost one in two cyberattacks hitting small businesses, your cyber security is no longer just an IT thing, it’s a business thing.
Minimise your cyber security risk with Office Solution IT’s FREE “Cyber Security Toolkit” including checklists, training and templates, available at cst.osit.com.