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Hackers Increasingly Target Small Businesses

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Category: Software Published on Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The battle over computer security wages on and the cyber crooks seem to be winning, especially when it comes to small business.

"Hackers know that small business owners don't always have the same resources for IT security as larger businesses, so they are increasingly targeting small business," according to Anne O'Neill, Symantec Corporation's senior marketing director for North American consumers and small businesses.

This is no more evident than in Symantec's 2014 Internet Security Threat Report.

According to the report, 30 percent of all cyber attacks were aimed at small businesses in 2013, which, according to O'Neill, could be used as a "stepping stone to attack clients that are large businesses."

These small companies have become extremely vulnerable, because small business owners are "time starved" and, O'Neill says, "just want to get in and get out. They aren't concentrating on Internet security."

These attacks often result in:

  • Lost sales and revenues
  • Damage to a company's reputation
  • Damage to a company's ability to deliver services

The most disastrous consequence, according to O'Neill, is that about 60 percent of small businesses victimized by cyber attacks go out of business.

The best solution is to install the best security software you can afford and combine it with drives or USB sticks that can make it difficult for intruders to hack your data.  

Of course the folks at Symantec have a solution - - - Norton Small Business, which is aimed at businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

We've been putting the product through its paces for the past week and discovered that it not only protects computers and mobile devices from viruses, but also gives you the ability to add and transfer licenses, which can scale down the threat of intrusion by former employees. It also performs all of the tasks small business owners don't have the time to complete including:

  • Protection for multiple devices including PCs. Macs, smartphones and tablets
  • Protection from viruses and malware
  • Easy access to all of the tools needed to monitor and manage devices 

The one problem with all of the Norton products is they tend to "hog" system memory, which may result in a computer slowdown.

There are other software-based solutions out there, but what you gain in efficiency may not provide all of the tools you need to adequately protect your devices. We've found that the most proficient - - - and reliable - - - solutions are provided by Webroot, AVG, Kaspersky and McAffee.

This is just the first step in protecting your data.

Companies such as Apricorn and Seagate offer a line of hard drives that encrypt data so it can't be read by intruders. Also, the Apricorn drives provide an extra layer of security, featuring fingerprint scanning and/or the use of padlocks (where you have to punch a multi-digit code onto a keypad to access the drive).

Others, such as Kingston, Kanguru and Lok-It offer encrypted USB flash drives.

Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email at or through his website at www.jocgeek.com.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.

 

 

 

 

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.