There is a persistent misconception among independent business owners in Florida that cyber threats are a problem reserved for large corporations and government agencies. On the contrary, small to medium-sized enterprises account for nearly a quarter of all reported cybersecurity incidents, with almost half of that figure occurring within the past year, according to statistics compiled but the Better Business Bureau.
If you’re wondering whether or not your Florida small business should start taking steps to protect itself from cyber threats, the answer is absolutely it should. While that might go without saying, many business owners struggle with identifying a reliable starting point for protecting their organizations from criminal hackers. In this brief guide, we highlight a few common strategies small business owners can take to reduce exposure to cyber-attacks.
How is your Florida business at risk?
Criminal hackers who target smaller Central Florida companies are almost exclusively in it for monetary gain. Presumably, you run an apolitical operation, so any threat actor who tries to gain access to your network is more interested in valuable data than making a politically charged statement. This type of threat actor is capable of causing significant damage to your IT infrastructure and the fiscal well-being of your operations on the whole. Hackers who target smaller companies are typically in search of the following information:
- Customer credit card details
- Company banking information
- Exclusive client lists
- Sales data and pricing structures
- Proprietary designs
- Organization growth strategies
- Confidential business procedures
Access to this information alone may not put your company at serious risk. Instead, threat actors frequently use an ostensibly benign incursion to make inroads into the networks of your supply chain affiliates where they can continue to wreak havoc.
How will a cybersecurity attack impact your business?
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that just one successful cybersecurity attack can spell devastation for your small business. Over half of all smaller companies victimized by criminal hackers shutter within six months of identifying the breach. The forced closure of your business is bad enough. But after an attack, your troubles hardly end there.
You may face additional losses from the theft of your financial details and expensive litigation procedures defending against legal claims from your customers and trusted business partners. If you do manage to get your operations back online, you might face years of reversing brand reputation damage as you explain to your customers why their sensitive information was compromised.
As a small business owner, you might feel at a loss when it comes time to develop a strategy to protect your assets from cyber attacks. Fortunately, valuable resources are readily available, and there are several steps you can start taking now to secure your network. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
Routinely back up your data
Regularly backing up your essential company information is vital. Should a cybersecurity incident occur, you might face the immediate and permanent loss of your critical business data. Circumstances like this could leave your operations down indefinitely. Given the amount of information you store across all company devices, getting back online might prove impossible.
Implementing a reliable backup program can help avert a scenario that forces you to confront a catastrophic data loss. When you back up your data routinely, the process of restoring your important files should be relatively seamless. Ensure that you utilize a program that lets you schedule backups automatically to avoid missing a crucial backup session.
To protect against ransomware attacks, maintain copies of your backups offline. Criminal hackers may try to encrypt your sensitive information to make it inaccessible. Cybersecurity incidents like these can keep your system offline for an extended duration if you fail to move your backups offline.
Avoid the most inexpensive backup solutions
Never choose a company or a backup program that cuts corners to merely provide a service that is unreliable or doesn’t work. IT service providers that claim to specialize in backups and data storage only are highly unlikely to support you in a crisis. Partnering with an established provider like PCH Technologies ensures ongoing access to all the resources and tools required to restore your essential data.
Update your software regularly
The software and applications required to keep your business running smoothly and uninterruptedly are crucial, so you should always keep them up-to-date. Software that’s inconsistently patched and updated leaves coding loopholes open, making it considerably easier for hackers to penetrate your network.
Seek additional IT support
Whether you’ve just recently detected a possible cyberattack or just now grasping the importance of preventing future threats, going with a reputable Central Florida managed service provider can help. PCH Technologies offers round-the-clock network monitoring, advanced cybersecurity solutions, comprehensive data backups, and information storage services.
Managed IT services in Central Florida
As your Central Florida small business grows, so does your responsibility. The team at PCH Technologies has spent over two decades establishing itself as one of the nation’s leading cybersecurity providers, offering companies like yours a suite of security choices to protect your operations against the latest cybersecurity threats.
Find out how our skilled technicians can restore your data immediately after a breach by filling out our online contact form or dialing (856) 754-7500 to connect with an expert consultant now.