We all know the kinds of challenges running a business in the digital age represents. From customer engagement to SEO and data analytics, it can feel like all we ever do is tweak websites and contemplate statistics. But how many of us are aware of the dangers the online world presents to our businesses? We’re not just talking about endless time commitments and the perfect procrastination tool. Oh no, we’re talking about the things that could bring your company to it’s knees.
Surprisingly, it is small and medium-sized businesses at risk of cyber attacks. They occur most frequently in companies with one hundred employees or less. These attacks target the company website and infect it with malware. This means that potential or existing customers visiting your website can be at risk of everything from annoying advert pop-ups to password theft. This not only ruins your reputation as a legitimate and reputable business, it also harms consumer confidence on the internet. It means that people put themselves at risk googling “Is Spyhunter 4 safe?” when they ought to be investing in it.
Another reason small and medium sized businesses so often come under attack is that they are viewed as stepping stones to larger, better protect companies. If you’re starting up, advertising your client list online is a great way to build your reputation and display your credentials. It is also a great way for hackers to identify you as a way in to the more established company since they know at the very least you have email contact with that business.
Image Source: Ministerio TIC Colombia
This is a pretty expansive category and poses more than a little risk to most businesses. It can be as simple as the theft of a company computer. If the data on that computer is not backed up, the company could lose months of information that would have been invaluable in devising strategies.
But you’ve got your company data backed up to a cloud, right? So that won’t happen to you. Wrong. There have been a number of occurrences of thieves breaching cloud data storage, some even managed to obtain personal medical records. This poses a number of threats to your company. Obviously, clever thieves are not above selling sensitive data to competitors or interested parties. However, they could just as easily gain access to customer data. This leaves your customers exposed and could mean they become the victims of identity fraud. Your company is legally obligated under Data Protection Laws to ensure the security of your customer’s data. Should you be found negligible, you could be subjected to a crippling fine. Not to mention the damage to your reputation if customers find out about the breach.
We’ve all seen what happens when celebrities twitter accounts are hacked, but what if your business social media was to spring a leak? This is the medium through which you communicate with customers. For many companies, it is the face of their brand and a few hours of negative interaction is all it takes to ruin a reputation.