The 21st century has seen tremendous growth in the number of businesses benefiting from the advancements of computing and internet applications. Now even a brick and mortar store can expand its outreach and service area from local to international by operating as a click and mortar store. Certain laws are in place which require businesses to opt for IT security not only for their own organization but for their customer’s data as well.
However, small businesses usually seem to overlook this important aspect of conducting online business. Small businesses usually regard IT security as an unnecessary expense and consider a simple anti-virus software as a one-click solution to all their problems.
Cyber and Email Security: Is it important?
- A research survey concluded that as much as 80% of customers consider privacy and identity protection as an important factor while choosing a business. This is not surprising, as the number of internet-based fraud and scams are on a constant rise. More people are at risk of losing their valuable information at the hands of a person with malicious intent.
Small businesses are at greater risk from a breach of cybersecurity, which can manifest itself in the following ways:
Poor Email Encryption
- Most email services provide a basic version of email encryption (SSL). It is sufficient for everyday emails but a business that lacks advanced encryption – such as Reflexion – is at serious risk. A poorly encrypted email service might end in the loss of not only emails but also customer data contained within them.
This data includes email content, customer information, transaction information, and business communication. The sensitive and confidential data can be used by anyone to replicate emails and steal information from the business and its customers.
- Phishing is the most popular cybersecurity threat, where a person sends an email to multiple people in order to steal their information. The email is drafted in a way that it appears to be legitimate. It often has a clickable link and asks its reader to provide sensitive information.
After the user clicks on the link, he is redirected to the fraudulent phishing website. There they are asked to enter their valuable information such as bank details, card details, login details, etc. The website appears to be legitimate. Only someone with enough cybersecurity knowledge can differentiate and protect themselves against such a threat.
- Most online email service providers now include a standard anti-virus service. The purpose of this service is to detect unsecured attachments and issuing warnings to the user before opening or downloading them.
However, modern-day hackers have discovered loopholes in this system and can send attachments that may appear safe. After they are downloaded and opened, they run a silent program on the system. It secretly sends information to a third party and can result in monetary and data losses for the business.
- One of the worst experiences for any business and user is to suffer the loss of data. Modern email service providers provide only a basic service where emails are saved on the server until someone deletes them. After that, they are lost permanently.
Purchasing and using a cloud backup service can be costly if done as a standalone. It requires the user to have enough IT knowledge to be executed properly. By hiring an IT security consultancy, a business can save itself from the hassle and back up its information securely and safely.
Universal Access and Locking
- A simple email security risk can lock the business out of its email and databases which can be very frustrating. The user will most often see a message displayed that unless they pay a certain amount of money, their data will remain locked or get deleted.
It is extremely important for any business to have the option of accessing their information and emails universally via a secure channel.
How can I protect myself and my business?
- A business can protect itself and its customers by making sure it has adequate measures in place for mitigating cybersecurity risks. Specialized software are now available. They aim to not only educate and assist the user but are only beneficial if the user has adequate knowledge and expertise.
Most businesses now prefer to take cybersecurity consultancies such as Outsource my IT onboard that provide their customers with a complete package solution at affordable costs. The business and its customers can work with peace of mind knowing their information and activities are safe and are not being tracked.