Posts

Business and technology concept.
Large corporations are no longer the ONLY target of cyber criminal activities. SMEs (small and medium enterprises) have become more and more exposed to the dangers of the cyber world, which is why SMEs are having a hard time securing their systems and networks. Cyber criminal activities have reached the point where industry IT experts have started assuming that it as a universal threat and, unless security measures aren’t implemented, systems and data security are doomed. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single organization in the entire world that can claim that it has fool-proof cyber security. The biggest threat to SMEs is not the breach of their system. It is not realizing the fact that cyber criminals can target their small-scale businesses.

The reality is, cyber crime is costly to SMEs, causing them to lose millions of dollars each year. The US alone is on the top of the list of having the highest number of cyber criminal activities. According to estimates, the reported cases of cyber crimes account for about $700 billion every year and these figures are multiplying at a massive pace. The thing is, the culture of “cyber-stealing” is growing and individuals with hacking knowledge and expertise are considering it as a safe career path that has a lot to offer to them. That’s why con artists and highly organized crime syndicates are coming up with sneaky tactics to break into SMEs accounts to steal sensitive information from companies. In short, cyber crime is a reality and those who ignore it can expect to face troubles in the future.

What Do Cyber Criminals Usually Look For?

In order to protect your business from cyber crime, you need to implement a prevention plan that will push infiltrators away from your company’s servers. Since cyber crime is multiplying, SMEs need to adapt to improved network security protocols in order to prevent sensitive data from leaking. Hackers, intruders, cyber criminals, or whatever you name online scammers usually look for business data, bookkeeping and accounting records, vendor details, sensitive personal and client information, banking details, and more that can be sold on the dark web for money. Therefore, improving your system and network security can greatly help you to prevent costly loopholes in the system.

What Can Cyber Crime Mean For SMEs?

First thing first—business disruption with an immediate effect! Cyber criminal activities can be hefty for SMEs as they can cost them a sustainable competitive advantage and also, financial and reputational damage. Those who trust you with sensitive information and rely on you for certain important aspects like the security of data, secrecy of business transactions, the privacy of vendor details and larger business interests need not be disappointed. So, you need to ensure that business data is protected against all predictable or non-predictable cyber threats.  It is ideal to keep proper checks and balances in places for preventing any leakage of information from company’s servers.

Keeping Your Business Safe from Cyber Crime

In order to protect your business from cyber attacks, it is ideal to create and implement your own security policy as it will give you more control over your company. Having a written, clear-cut security policy helps your employees know the menaces of cyber security threats and repercussions they might have to face due to an incident of cyber fraud. Also, you need to encourage your staff to shut down their computers once they leave the office and use complex passwords.

Cyber crime occurs when you fail to update your system and networks. You need to keep your operating systems, software, and browsers updated and install anti-virus software and firewalls for prevention of cyber attacks. Moreover, you need to be very careful with software installation as hackers are inventing new ways by which they can target SMEs that are vulnerable to cyber crime.

Hiring an IT Expert

Hiring an IT professional is the best way to secure your business from cyber criminals. SMEs can hire IT experts to ensure their data safety and network security when they fail to comply with network security protocols on their own. They are not as expensive as you may think. The choice to hire an IT expert is a fair trade. Spending money on data safety and network security is a wise move compared to what you could lose if you are not protected.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

young hacker with hood and binary code
Unarguably, no organization is immune to cyber crime. Cyber criminals and online predators are implementing sneaky ways to steal sensitive data from individuals and companies, causing them to lose billions of dollars each year. Cyber crime, in SMEs, often goes unnoticed since they lack a mechanism to estimate the actual loss. The incidents that are detected have no significant outcomes as those who lose money lack the channels to recover their losses. The number of US data breaches hit an all-time high of 1150 in 2017. This is expected to further increase by 9% in 2018. The vast explosion in the cyber crime rate bears testimony to the fact that cyber security is a topmost concern for individuals and businesses.

Enhancing Cyber Security is a Must

The truth is, no one wants to be hurt financially or emotionally. Cyber crime can lead to disastrous outcomes. It may cost loss of jobs, a compromise of privacy, mental traumas, and emotional distress. It very well may be the number one reason for financial insecurity. Today, cyber security is a $90 billion dollar industry and veterans believe it will double in the next three years. Businesses are more inclined towards improving their cyber security. The increased awareness is what is encouraging them to secure their systems and networks. Enhancing security protocols doesn’t have to be that difficult because big IT houses have developed strong business infrastructures to help businesses create robust security layers to ensure 100% cyber security.

Losing the Competitive Edge

One thing is very clear, cyber crime can be a big blow to businesses looking to expand and grow their business operations. Obviously, when businesses are unable to meet their targets and long-term strategic goals, problems start to arise. Dealing with such challenges is never easy, especially when you have a slight advantage over your competitors. The ever-intensifying cyber security challenges in the cyber world are creating a lot of troubles for the entire business community. Long story short, cyber crime incidents revolve around a competitive advantage. Those who successfully prevent cyber security threats are able to maintain their business advantage over their competitors.

Financial Disruptions

Moreover, cyber crime incidents can break your business apart into pieces. A big financial blow instantly disrupts your working capital, which further damages your business’s image and reputation. SMEs are under assault from cyber criminals like never before. They have now come up with cunning ways to steal important data that will lead them to acquisition of money, perhaps on the dark web. Safeguarding your digital assets such as your website, database management system, networks, servers, and other network assets are extremely important for ensuring your cyber security.

What Cyber Attackers Steal From You

Cyber attackers will try to exploit individuals and companies as much as they possibly can. They will go to any extreme and take radical measures to hurt you and your business financially. They usually target personal and business databases and look for valuable intellectual property that would lead them to gain money. The stolen data and information of employees, customers, partners, vendor details, personal bookkeeping, accounting records, and stakeholder details can further be exploited for identity theft and fraud.

What’s more?

Business vulnerabilities, plus little or no cyber security, encourage cyber criminals to partake in criminal activities. The data that is stolen from the system, servers, or networks is held for ransom. Often, the original owners must pay extortion money to get it back or the data can be sold on the dark web or to competitors for money. Since the sole motivation behind hacking is money, cyber criminals will maximize the amount of extortion money with little or no bargaining. In order to prevent cyber criminals from breaking into your systems and networks, you need to elevate the level of cyber ecurity and enhance your network security protocols for minimizing cyber crime.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.