Hackers Are Targeting Small Business and the ‘Free’ Security Methods of Old Days Just Won’t Protect You

Business man taking oath.Protecting small business from cyber threats is vital, so I’ve teamed up with Norton on their ‘Take the Pledge’ campaign (#CSPledge) to help educate small business on how to better protect against cybercrime. The threat to businesses, large and small, is so much more than it was 20 years ago, and the ‘free’ protection so many of us are used to having on our systems just won’t cut it any longer. Let me tell you why.

The Evolution of Cyber Crime

I recently spoke with Brian Burch, Vice President of Product Marketing, Norton. We discussed the evolution of cybercrime and cybersecurity and what today’s small business has to do to protect itself. He explains how today’s hacker doesn’t even remotely resemble the hacker of 20 years ago, when the concept of a computer virus was first identified and the ‘hacker’ was born. “Those days hackers wanted notoriety and to impress their friends and get their names in the news,” he says. “They were rebels just looking to do something that was supposed to be impossible. Today’s hacker doesn’t want fortune or fame. They want information – names, birth dates, social security numbers, and credit card numbers. Any type of information that they can use to turn into cash by selling or using to buy items themselves.”

Who’s At Risk

A recent Symantec Internet threat report said that there’s been a 91% increase of targeted attacks in the past years. Not just broadcast spam campaigns to distribute a virus – but campaigns that TARGETED companies and specific computer networks. These targeted attacks are from a criminal who identifies a small business as the specific target of an attack.

These targeted attacks are done for two reasons. A) Either the business has something of direct value to the hacker or B) the small business is CONNECTED to a larger business. Media reports show that in the case of the Target attack, Target was attacked through their HVAC vendor – the heating guy!

How to Protect Your Business

So I asked Brian, what is a small business have to do today to protect themselves?

“While standalone anti-virus security might have been good enough 20 or 30 years ago, it’s definitely no longer enough today. A multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach to security is a must,”says Brian. “What Norton Small Business does is provide multiple layers of protection – phishing, spyware, from any of the methods – all sorts of ways beyond just anti-virus.”

Cyber criminals are crafty, and because of that it’s imperative that businesses take new steps to ensure that they are protecting their systems and their customer’s information. And let’s be clear… no system is more secure than another these days. While in years past criminals focused on the Windows platform because it had a larger user base, those using Macs and the OS X platform are at just as much risk.

Putting proper security tools and processes in place is essential to protect your business. With so many outside threats no one is safe.

The team at Norton knows this and is dedicated to helping protect small businesses. Brian tells us, “Norton Small Business is the only solution that offers 100% guaranteed data security software and 24/7 technical support. If you are successfully attacked and use Norton software, Norton will get rid of it for free or refund your money.”

You can find Norton Small Business at Staples.

Does your small business have enough security in place? Take the pledge along with us and take time today to better protect your small business. #CSPledge

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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