In 2016, U.S. companies and organizations experienced a record year in data breaches. Small companies alone composed roughly 70 percent of the attacks – and these numbers are only expected to continue increasing this year. Although the likelihood of a data breach remains high for all small and medium-sized companies, there are nine signs that put you more at risk:
- High Employee Turnover Rate: Some industries inevitably havea higher turnover rate than others. The restaurant industry, for example, has seen its employee turnover rate grow by 17 percent since 2010. This can pose a huge problem for a company’s security, as the majority of organizations fail to ensure that their employees are deleting valuable company information prior to leaving. In other words, the entire company couldsuffer a network breach if a former employee is hacked.
- Staff Works Remotely: Working remotely does not mean employees are using secure networks to transfer and submit company data. This can be very problematic for organizations of any size, especially if employees are using public networks. Without a secure connection, hackers can easily access the information sent and received from an employee’s computer.
- No IT Support: Even if you’re a small, up-and-coming company, investing funds in an IT representative or company is a MUST. In fact, it’s more important to invest if you are a small company! According to a recent study, 60 percent of small companies that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within six months of the network breach – so make sure your company is covered sooner rather than later.
- No Updated Security Software: Security Software is the first line of defense for your company’s network. If the security software is not routinely updated, then you provide cybercriminals with an easy hacking opportunity. To prevent this from happening, subscribe to one of the many inexpensive security applications that will continuously check for malware, viruses, and infected websites.
- Old Computers and Operating Systems: Old computers mean outdated operating systems. This can pose a huge problem for organizations because considerably outdated technology usually cannot routinely update its security software. As mentioned above, this makes a hack attack much easier for cybercriminals – no matter the size of the company.
- Lack of Employee Training: 55 percent of companies have had a security breach due to a negligent employee. Without the proper training, a staff member is much more likely to allow a network breach, whether they download an encrypted file or click on a hacker’s link. Avoid any employee-related instances by signing up for our staff security awareness training today.
- Absence of Procedures for Securing Data: If your company stores a high volume of confidential information, the absence of procedures for securing data could be the pitfall of your company. Don’t wait to react to a data breach, defend your firm with a proactive cybersecurity strategy.
- No Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy: Most companies now encourage their employees to bring their own computers to work. Without the proper monitoring of these devices, however, one simple computer hack could lead to an entire network breach.
- Password Changes Are Not Regularly Enforced: Every employee should be required to change their password on a regular basis. Each password should contain at least one of the following: uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and symbol.
If you find that your company falls into one or more of the nine listed categories, it’s time to make some company updates. For more information about how to avoid a data breach, whether you’re a small company or not, contact one of our security specialists today.