Ransomware (or cryptolocker) are the most dangerous viruses ever created for small businesses. These viruses go right after the businesses most important assets, its data. Imagine waking up tomorrow and having all of the following gone-
- Financial data
- Quickbooks data
- CAD and engineering drawings
- Customer communications
The reality is that this happens daily, and the effects are real. Small businesses are the easiest target. The criminals don’t care that you’re in Northern Michigan. They don’t care that you only have a very small business with “nothing really important” on your computers. They only care that they know you are reliant on your data, and once they own it, they will make you pay for getting it back.
It is widely reported that 60% of small to midsized business who are hit by these viruses never recover and are shut down in 6 months. We can begin to guess why, but I know that any business, including ACS, would suffer drastically if the above data were lost.
This is why you must take the security of your network seriously. Eliminating as many threat vectors as possible, and affordable, is the key to protecting your business. Things you can do include –
- Patching, and keeping your security updates on your pc’s and servers
- Having a solid offsite cloud based backup
- Filtering all incoming email
- Filtering web browsing
- Train and teach your employees how to be safe online
- Using a next generation firewall to protect your network
Albert Steed is the President of ACS. He’s been in IT for over 20 years, and is the virtual CTO for many small businesses throughout Northern Michigan.