To someone who wants to break into your company’s software applications, your system - to them - may have an imaginary neon light which says, “Come on in here. This one’s going to be easy.”
You don’t want to be that person.
Here are some sobering facts about small businesses and security. These aren’t meant to scare you. It’s to help you understand how you can stop or slow a break-in from happening to you, and that’s easier than you think.
We’re in the software business, so of course we’re horrified by these statistics. But many people aren’t. Millions of people aren’t bothered at all. Why?
We can only assume many businesses feel like their data is not “important” to anyone, so they don’t need to shield it from cyber attack. Some businesses do their accounting unconnected to the Internet. I went to a Northern California bait and tackle shop recently during a fishing trip with some friends, and the owner was literally using a pencil and a ledger! I asked him why. “I don’t need a computer…”
Okay, that’s fine. A ledger can’t be hacked, that’s true. It can only be stolen by a human burglar. But when that ledger is gone, so is every transaction he’s ever conducted.
And that’s the point.
When it’s gone, it’s gone.
It’s worth noting that a cyber criminal might not be necessarily interested in stealing or kidnapping your business data from ransom - but s/he can certainly use your system to set up what’s called a botnet- a network of computers infected with bad software, running without your knowledge, to do things like send spam messages. Foreign bad actors use botnets to make some very big and hard-to-track messes that can be extremely difficult to disinfect.
Hackers are lazy because they’re humans - they’ll skip a fortified system in favor of an easy job. There are some things you can do now to, at the very least, make it slightly harder for an intruder to compromise your applications and your business.
You’ve worked so hard to build your business. You turn on your laptop or desktop every day and it works fine, so it’s very easy to procrastinate or neglect taking steps to protect yourself from what is probably an inevitable headache - a compromised system, data loss, and massive expense to repair - if repair is possible.
Is it possible to be 100% safe 100% of the time? No, and anyone who claims they can do that for you is lying to you. But you can make your systems stronger and safer and reduce the risk of attack.