How businesses can combat the growing number of cyber attacks

BCBusiness + Shaw Business | The necessity of protecting your small business from hackers and online threats has never been greater


BCBusiness + Shaw Business

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The necessity of protecting your small business from hackers and online threats

Small business owners have enough on their to-do lists, changing roles on an hourly basis from general manager to IT to salesperson to HR and back again. Worrying about losing company and customer data to hackers and other online threats shouldn’t be another item on their lists.

“Unfortunately, more and more small businesses are being hacked, their data often being held ransom, as they typically have less cyber security knowledge and fewer IT resources, and are often the most inviting targets,” says Ron McKenzie, senior vice president, Shaw Business.

We see headlines about large, multinational corporations being hacked, but surprisingly it is small businesses that are the most at risk. Sixty per cent of targeted cyber-attacks in 2014 were against small- and medium-sized businesses, yet 89 per cent of small businesses don’t have a cyber security plan.

One common method of attack is through ransomware hacks. Ransomware infects a victim’s computer without their knowledge when malware is inadvertently accessed by clicking on an unsafe link. A program is then run that encrypts the user’s network data and enables the attacker to demand a ransomware payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware can harm a business by compromising critical data, exposing customer information to nefarious hackers and can ultimately result in shutting down business operations entirely.

“Many small business owners may not realize that the residential-grade firewalls they have in place are not built to handle these types of attacks,” adds McKenzie. “Not only will the effects of such an attack be felt financially, but a businesses’ reputation can be damaged as well.”

As attacks become more sophisticated, business owners must do more to protect themselves. A few simple steps include: educating employees on potential threats and enhancing passwords and password policies, or looking to more advanced solutions like Shaw’s SmartSecurity product.

SmartSecurity provides small- and medium-sized companies with a business-grade firewall that allows them to permit or deny network traffic, as well as content filtering and advanced threat protection features. Plus, small business owners will have access to knowledgeable IT experts who can help steer them in the right direction.

Beyond that, SmartSecurity gives small business owners comfort knowing that their in-house systems are safe, as well as their customers’ data, and that they are free to concentrate on their top priority—their business.


Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Shaw Business