Two out of every five small businesses have experienced a cyber attack. That is a staggering statistic. So what are you going to do about it? Now is the time to make cyber security and risk reduction a top priority. It is time to review processes and platforms, and determine what scams or cyber attacks your business may be vulnerable to. Don’t put it off any longer, take steps now to protect your business against cyber attacks.
In 2020 you likely had to move business online to meet the needs of your customers. This means that most small businesses are now storing their most valuable data on digital platforms that often aren’t very secure. Worryingly, almost one fifth of small businesses spent no money on cyber security in the last twelve months. Yet, Scamwatch reports were up 25% in 2020 showcasing the dramatically increasing threat of cyber attacks on businesses.
The most common cyber attacks targeting accountants are:
- Compromised business emails – cyber criminals access and redirect your emails using stolen or easy to guess usernames and passwords, which often leads to data theft or invoice scams.
- Ransomware attacks – using phishing emails, cyber attackers attempt to hold your systems and data ransom until a payment is made.
- Identity theft – scammers will pose as financial or legal representatives in order to access funds.
It is important for accountants and small business owners to understand what risks they currently face and the risk reduction measures they have available to them.
Here are three simple steps you can take to start increasing your cyber security awareness and reducing risk.
- Make a list of all the platforms and places you store data e.g. Google Drive, Shopify etc.
- Check your passwords to make sure that they are all different and change them if they’re not! Keep in mind, if you can easily remember it, it can probably be easily hacked. Try and use 11-character passwords (or longer) to keep password-cracking tools guessing.
- Use multi-factor authentication on everything. This is an incredibly effective way to block 99% of account hackers in their tracks!
Cyber security is a human problem, not a tech one. We’re the ones putting ourselves and our data at risk by using the same weak passwords or opening a suspicious looking file. By becoming more aware of cyber security and implementing risk reduction measures, you can greatly improve your protection against cyber threats.
Get in touch with QC Accountants today if you’d like to get your business set up for the next phase of its evolution.