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Records Management for SMEs – What You Need to Know about Cyber Crime

Cyber Crime is a growing threat to businesses of all sizes. Arm yourself with knowledge.

Cyber crime has been around for a long time but in recent years and even more recently, it has become a much greater threat, especially with the alarming increase in Ransomware attacks. So we’ve decided to discuss the topic once more.

Cyber criminals evolve their methods all the time and have become more sophisticated in their operations. A small act of cyber crime on a small company may seem isolated but is often part of a much larger strategy to attack a bigger fish and achieve a larger pay day.

As an SME, you are no less at risk than a large corporate and in many ways small businesses are even more at risk. Taking a few minutes to get familiar with this growing threat is the first step to combating it and securing your business.

 

What Motivates Cyber Criminals

Discerning cyber criminals’ motivation is fairly straightforward. They do it for the money, in most cases anyway. With the increasing use of Ransomware to extort organisations, paydays are becoming more lucrative thus further increasing the use of these malicious viruses.

Ransomware is particularly dangerous as it encrypts the victim’s computer which blocks access to all its data. If the Ransom is not paid on time the computer is permanently encrypted and the data forever lost. Because this is so serious, many organisations have ended up paying the ransom, which then further incentivises the use of Ransomware.

Currently, your best protection against Ransomware besides a good anti-virus and up to date security on your computer is having complete backups of all your data. In fact, backups are becoming your most important safety factor as anti-virus software and security patches are not available straight away for new Ransomware releases, so one has to play catch up.

Besides Ransomware there are multitudes of other viruses and threats that are often used against companies of all sizes. The reason here is simple. By gaining access to the systems of smaller companies, attackers can then use these systems, including emails and personal data, to attack larger companies who are seen as more lucrative targets.

 

Dealing with Cyber Crime

As alarming as the threat from cyber criminals can be, you are not powerless. In fact, with just a few actions and vigilance you can mitigate the risk considerably.

The first thing you need to do is to get an education. The more you know about cyber security and potential threats the more likely you are to prevent or detect attacks and handle them. We’ve included a list of our blogs that deal with cyber security so you can start learning some of the basics. However we do encourage you to search for more articles online.

The next thing you can do is make sure you use anti-virus software and you protect your network with firewalls and keep your computer security updated. These actions will limit the loopholes attackers can exploit and reduce your risk.

Finally, make sure you take regular backups of all your data and make sure you have offsite copies. If you are ever the victim of Ransomware you will be able to recover without having to pay a ransom.

Remember, if you become the victim of a Ransomware attack and you have no backups then all your data will be lost. Depending on how many systems are affected your business could be crippled if not put out of business.

 

Read the previous article: “Records Management for SMEs – Disaster Recovery Guide

Further reading list:

Cyber-Attacks – The Why and How

Cyber-crime – Small Business Equals Big Target

Key Steps to Handling a Data Breach