Hacking: How to Avoid the Most Serious Concern for Tech-Minded Small Businesses

Hacking is a serious concern for small businesses in all sectors. In recent years, criminal hacking (as opposed to ethical, “white hat” hacking) has been in the news for potentially disrupting elections, wreaking cyber havoc at companies, blackmailing random people by encrypting computer data, and even causing some companies to go bankrupt. Global Resources LLC consultants warn that if your small business offices are connected to the internet in one way or another, then you should be worried about hackers.

Hackers often gain access to internal networks by various duping methods. Phishing is one of these common methods where a hacker tricks an employee into clicking a seemingly trustworthy link that actually contains malware. Phishing is surprisingly common and most recently infamously caused the DNC hack during the past election year. Phishing is, of course, just one of the many methods that can lead to a hack. Read below to learn about simple steps you can take to safeguard your business:

Instruct Employees Not to Click on Any Emailed Links: Simply avoid clicking on any emailed links. For example, if an employee gets an invite for a Google password change, instruct the employee to go to Google’s website directly, instead of being redirected to an emailed link. Hackers have become sophisticated enough to emulate companies like Google and Facebook. If you look closely enough, there will be small differences between a genuine and a phishing email. However, most employees are not this discerning. So, it’s best to prevent the practice of clicking on emailed links altogether.

Adopt a Password Policy: Some hackers gain access simply by guessing passwords. This is why cyber security experts warn companies to adopt strong password policies. These policies often involve having employees change all passwords at least every three months. Randomly generating passwords, thus making them impossible to guess, is also strongly encouraged.

Keep Software Up to Date: Companies like Microsoft often issue security patches for software vulnerabilities quietly with updates.  Therefore, make sure all software at the company is updated regularly. Enable automatic updates when possible. Also. have an IT person dedicated to keeping the system up to date.

Our consultants are not cyber security experts. However, we strongly recommend companies to pay attention to their IT practices just as with online marketing. One hack can destroy years of work and cause irreparable damage to your brand. So heed the above advice. If your business requires review of safe internal business practices, contact us at GR-US.com for an evaluation.