Milford, Stratford Business Owners: Now is the Time to Act on Cybersecurity

By Dave Wall

If you’re a business owner in the Milford or Stratford area, it would be easy to think that you’re not at risk of succumbing to a cyberattack. After all, it’s often government agencies and global enterprises that continue to make the headlines whenever a hacker strikes. But just because you’re not in the spotlight, it doesn’t mean you’re not under the microscope either.

In fact, hackers seem more intent on going after small businesses than their larger counterparts—and it’s only getting worse. According to recent reports, malware incidents at U.S.-based, small- and medium-sized businesses, increased by 165 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2017.

Succumbing to a cyberattack can have serious implications. You may lose access to your own data, inadvertently leak customer information and disrupt your day-to-day responsibilities, cutting into your bottom line. Many small businesses cannot afford to deal with the repercussions of a cyberattack, and 60 percent of small organizations go out of business within six months of being victimized.

Of course, small businesses don’t always have the resources or bandwidth needed to take complete control over network security, which is what makes them appealing targets in the first place.

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in computer sciences or an unlimited budget in order to shore up security concerns. Here are a few helpful hints for small businesses in the Milford or Stratford area that have yet to address cybersecurity issues in their organizations.

Educate your employees: Imagine this: all your employees receive an email that appears to have been sent out by you. There’s a link in the body of the email, so they are naturally inclined to click it. But the email was actually sent by a bad actor who hacked your account, and the link contains malware that will cripple your network. It only takes one person to leave your network vulnerable, so you must think of your employees as your front line in the fight against cyberattacks. Take the time to educate them on safe Internet use and you’ll be able to drastically cut down on your exposure.

Consult with a managed services provider: Small business leaders have to wear many hats. But few business owners have the training, or the time, to act as their own Information Technology (IT) Department. Managed services providers can offer customized security solutions tailored to the needs of your business. They’ll oversee your network activity around the clock, keeping your company safe while you focus on your own responsibilities.

Have a preparedness plan in place: You cannot afford to start thinking about your preparedness plan until after an attack has occurred. You’ve got to be prepared in advance. Duplicate your vital data in the event that you lose access. Put operational processes in place to alert customers and keep your doors open. In addition, you should start to budget for cybersecurity needs now. Put aside a little money every month so that if you are hit, you can absorb the blow as you stabilize and return to business as usual.

With cyberthreats on the rise, security is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for small businesses.

For more resources to ensure that your business can enjoy sustainable long-term success, stop by any office of The Milford Bank branch location today.