Security: Small-Business Security: Five Tips to Help Protect Against Cyber-Threats
Educate Users on Targeted Attacks
Cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting organizations and their employees by using customized malware and social engineering. Users need to be educated about the dangers on the Internet and how to avoid such threats as suspicious emails, suspicious social media links and email attachments from unknown sources. They also need to be careful when sharing information on social networks.
The threat landscape on the Web is becoming more perilous. Security software maker Symantec, in its annual "Internet Security Threat Report" released April 30 found that even as the number of vulnerabilities in 2011 fell by 20 percent over the previous year, the number of malicious attacks grew 81 percent. The trend is similar to what Hewlett-Packard saw. In its "Top Cyber-Security Risks Report," announced April 19, HP officials also found that the number of vulnerabilities last year fell by 20 percent, but that the risks involved in those vulnerabilities grew. HP also found that the number of cyber-attacks more than doubled in the second half of 2011. And small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are in the thick of it. More than half of the targeted attacks seen in 2011 were aimed at organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees, and almost 18 percent targeted companies with fewer than 250 employees. The Internet has been a boon for SMBs, making it easier than ever before to do business. But it also raises the threats to smaller companies and their IT departments. The biggest risk is seeing their intellectual property, customers' information or financial transaction data fall into the wrong hands. SMBs need to protect themselves, and Symantec has some ideas how.