When you own or operate a small business, you may feel as if you need to understand and manage a never-ending list of issues and concerns just to ensure the safe, secure and effective operation of your business.
There may be one more you need to add to the list: cybersecurity. As technology continues to advance around us, so too does the sophistication by which cybercriminals attempt to access sensitive information from online networks.
There are several main types of cyberattacks that all business owners should be aware of. Let’s start with the most common.
Viruses are the form of malware with which most people have at least some level of familiarity. A virus is either a program or a piece of code that gets delivered to your device without your knowledge, typically packed into other downloads or deceptive email attachments. Depending on the virus, it could have any number of devastating effects on your computer or business network. For example, some viruses seek out and delete certain files, while others shut down computers and networks completely.
Make sure you have antivirus software on your company’s computers and network and keep them updated at all times so you can perform regular virus scans and maintain your digital security.
Spyware is a form of malware that collects information, such as credit cards, Social Security numbers and passwords, off your computer. Even if spyware is not being used for theft, spammers and marketers may leverage it to learn more about your browsing habits in unethical ways. Anti-spyware programs are available online and often come packaged with antivirus tools.
Phishing involves fake emails or websites designed to take advantage of users who are not careful with their browsing habits. These email messages or sites typically try to trick you into entering your personal information or passwords. Spam filters should block most phishing attempts that come via email, but it’s best to make sure everyone in your workplace knows not to open suspicious-looking emails—just in case a few get through.
Browser security has also been updated to the point to which most of today’s web browsers are able to catch suspicious sites and block users from accessing them.
Trojans, bots, key-loggers and a variety of other applications are designed to appear harmless or even useful, prompting users into downloading and opening them. However, they carry various forms of malware that could be damaging to your computer and your overall data security. Make sure you have policies in place regarding the files your employees may download.
Cybersecurity has become one of the most pressing issues for modern businesses. Be sure to keep tabs on your company’s processes and ensure you’re not jeopardizing the data and information of you, your employees or your customers.
BoltNagi is a well-established and widely respected business and corporate law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.