Broome business urged to think twice before clicking

Written on the 22 June 2016 by Melva Stone

Broome business urged to think twice before clicking

Simply clicking on an email attachment is enough to destroy years of hard work with your small businesses.  

MNH Platinum, a small business in the UK learnt this the hard way when it was recently the recent victim of a virus which encrypted over 12,000 files on its company network  Demand for ransom ensued from the criminals who would decrypt the company's files in exchange for thousands of dollars, as reported recently in the Guardian.

With the virus proving impossible to remove without the loss of crucial company data, the firm had no choice but to pay up.

"We were completely unprepared for a cyber breach simply due to a lack of awareness of the magnitude an attack of this type could have through mistakenly clicking a link in an email," says managing director Mark Hindle.

Whilst cyber security was, once, only the concern of large corporations, the reality is that now hackers are targeting small businesses due to their lack of cyber defense systems.  Failure to protect against cyber threats can cause small business to be out of business.

Hackers have access to every part of our work and daily lives how we operate, how we feel and what we seek.

Mobile "cyber criminals" can track devices, turn on microphones, turn on cameras, send email and sms messages, which impersonate the user and change a PIN then lock the device for ransom.  In a future where we see driverless cars, smart light bulbs, smart meters and smart wearable devices, such as watches, it is clear just how critical cyber security is.

In 2014 there was a 71% increase in reported cyber attacks and that figure keeps growing at an alarming rate to 140% and growing in 2016.

Most small to medium businesses do not focus on security, with a false belief that they are not likely to be under threat.  Many have insufficient protection in place and the perception that cyber security is too expensive and complex.

Most of us are familiar now with simple forms of security, such as firewalls which ensure that only traffic that should be allowed on the network traverses the network. However, given that firewall technology is over twenty-five years, old, there is a need for more sophisticated technology to prevent attacks on business computers.  No longer will a simple firewall or anti-virus software provide the protection needed.

A "health check" on our business computer systems is vital.  Installing adequate back-up systems and adequate protection against cyber threat will strengthen the business and is a small price to pay to ensure that our business cannot be destroyed with just one click.

Note:  Information for this article were supplied by Leading Edge Computers and The Guardian.

Author: Melva Stone

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