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Why CEOs of Small Businesses Are Prime Target for Hackers

Cyberattacks are targeting corporations and individuals alike. Here’s how companies can stay more secure on the web.

Yahoo, Facebook, Marriott, Equifax, Target. If we start to name the number of massive hacks over the past year alone, the names could go on forever, and the losses would amount to billions.

Why Do Businesses Get Hacked?

There is no doubt that our online privacy is under constant threat. With our digital existence vulnerable, it is not a question of if but when we will get hacked. Many of us question how large corporations end up falling victim to a hack when they have got all the resources to secure themselves.

The answer to that is pretty simple: corporations tend to ignore the signs leading up to a hack. Be it anybody, ensuring your digital accounts are secure is essential. Industry experts have observed over the years that cyberattacks against small and medium-sized businesses have been on the rise.

Since large corporations have the necessary capital to tighten their cybersecurity landscape, cybercriminals often end up targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Dozens of businesses are targeted every month, and their data is compromised. While SMBs argue that their small-scale size will not attract hackers, it is a common misapprehension of our digital age dilemma.

The truth is, be it any business, small, medium, or large – they are all susceptible to a cyberattack. Cybercriminals these days are equipped with robust mechanisms that target any entity without any prejudice. However, small businesses host valuable information such as customers’ data, their payment details, and much more, which attracts hackers.

Another exciting discovery is that SMBs, including their CEOs, tend to underestimate the magnitude of cyberattacks and the growing need for a secure infrastructure. According to the research, nearly 80 percent of all breaches are the result of weak password security. It does not take a genius to decipher that several people use weak passwords across all of their applications, websites, and systems.

All it takes is one account to get affected, and the rest are a cherry on the top. According to the Cyber Mindset Survey, CEOs, chairs, and owners were the least likely employees who are aware of their own company’s password policies. What is worrisome is that businesses don’t even encourage or require employees to update their passwords.

Cybersecurity experts have long been emphasizing on the fact that for attaining utmost security, every individual in the company must be on-board. The concept of cybersecurity indeed stems from upper management, but employees have to play their equal part.

Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security, said the following: “If you don't have a cybersecurity mindset at the top, you're not going to have it at the staff or team level. Cybersecurity software should run on every smartphone, tablet, and computer for every single employee in the ecosystem of a business. That's absolutely of paramount importance because it only takes one endpoint to be breached.”

The Ultimate Solution for CEOs and SMBs

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars developing a secure infrastructure. For SMBs with a limited budget, all you need is encryption to secure your online activities.

Irrespective of the company’s history, age, or its employee’s position in the company, every SMB should follow these cybersecurity protocols:

  1. Keep your online credentials private and do not share your login details with other employees, notably passwords which you have been using across multiple platforms.
  2. Employ a VPN service for attaining ultimate online security. Businesses of all sizes have long used VPN services for evading geo-restricted content, remote access to employees, ability to dodge ISP throttling, staying off the surveillance radar, and so much more. When equipped with a VPN service, employees and businesses can secure their online communications, make use of Dedicated IP for instant access, have remote employees work from any corner of the globe, and still maintain the utmost online secrecy. A VPN service renowned among the business community; PureVPN is celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) by promoting the message of spreading awareness among internet users regarding the importance of online privacy and security.
  3. Do not connect to a public Wi-Fi network. It is better to get a personal hotspot device that can come in handy, especially for businesses.
  4. Use a password manager to keep your passwords in one place. Password managers provide security by default. They are instrumental if you tend to lose your passwords (which most of us do).

Be it CEOs or SMBs, cybersecurity should be one of your core prospects and must be integrated into your business operations. Training is also equally important for employees to stay up-to-date with recent cybersecurity threats and ways to combat them.

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