Hacking and Computer Security for Small Businesses

Hacking and Computer Security have dominated the news recently, with Sony making the front page of any “hacking” search, Germany receiving hacking flack for their support of Ukraine, and local news outlets being targeted by small operators. With all different actors, motives, and victims, these hacking occurrences demonstrate that any business can be targeted by someone with a motive and a smattering of cyber-security knowledge.  How can you protect your small business against situations like these?

No one can be 100% safe from cyber-attacks, but building a system of prevention through internal and external means your organization can greatly reduce the probability of falling prey to hackers.

  1. Does your organization have up to date software and hardware?
  2. Does your organization have adequate internal security systems to prevent insider jobs?
  3. Are there adequate software and firewall protections in place to prevent casual hackers and malicious programs?
  4. Are there adequate system backups in case your data is lost to a successful hack?

Out-of-date software and hardware are the most common entry points for hackers, malware or viruses. Companies update their programs regularly to patch holes that have been discovered, but after a certain amount of time, companies can become complacent and stop updating old software and hardware. The most recent of these is Windows XP, Microsoft’s longest lasting operating system to date. Many businesses are still using XP, although it is no longer supported by Microsoft, leaving the businesses vulnerable.

The best plans for protection are vulnerable to people inside the organization who have systems access. Using 3rd party protection and keeping certain parts of security limited to key employees can help protect against an insider attack. In fact, using a 3rd party for key protection, servers and backup is one of the best ways to protect your business against inside problems.

Many people run businesses without buying anti-virus software or using basic firewall protection. Many people think if they don’t go to THOSE sites, or download programs, their computer will be safe. This is not true. Viruses can be downloaded upon opening a site, including advertisements on sites you normally visit. There are many anti-virus programs that will block most inadvertent downloads, and a security expert can create partitions on the hard drive so that viruses do not have administrative access.

Finally, your last line of defense against hacking is the ability to recover. Hackers can take information off of computers, destroy programs, and more. Having good back up and security systems in place will give a company the tools it needs to recover as quickly as possible after data loss or corruption due to hacking or malicious programs.

CARISMA offers many security solutions for businesses in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Contact us to see how your systems can be made more secure.