Almost half of businesses have fallen victim to some type of fraud in 2010, according a 2011 Global Economic Crime Survey, reported by PricewaterhousCoopers. Fraud losses in excess of more than $5 million are reported by nearly one in 10 businesses. While fraud losses may not reach this magnitude for a small business, a smaller fraud loss can be devastating to small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have the financial reserves to sustain business when confronted with such losses.
Here are four ways cybercrime can harm your small business:
1) Password theft. Hackers are becoming more and more intelligent, no thanks in part to password cracking software, which makes it easier for the hacker to guess your password. Small businesses don’t always take the time or spend the resources for advanced password protection procedures. Advanced password protection best practices include automatically requiring users to change passwords frequently and implementing lockout measures.
2) Keylogging. Keylogging is another one of the ways cybercrime can harm your small business. Hackers can gain access to your system — and everything you type — through keylogging programs. Keylogging programs are commonly installed through a virus. As such, always keep your virus software up-to-date. It’s also important to keep all software programs, like Adobe, updated with the latest security patches. Keylogging is serious. Not only can passwords be obtained, but access to financial accounts and customer data can be accomplished through keylogging.
3) Website hacking. Website hacking results when a outside third party breaks into password protected sections of a website in order to redirect, defame, or obtain sensitive information housed by the website. Website hacking and data breaching has been well-publicized in the media in recent years. Having a website hacked, can lead to a damaged reputation and lost customers. Using a strong firewall and encrypting your website are two ways to help minimize your risk of website hacking.
4) Unauthorized access to computer. It’s a good idea to have all computers in your small business power down after a certain amount of idle time. Make sure that to get back into the computer, the user must key in a password.
Security software manufacturer Symantec reports that over one third of all cyber crimes are targeted at small businesses. To further protect your small business from hackers and cybercrime, consider cyberliablity insurance, which is designed to protect small business from various types of cybercrime.