Tech Tip: Are You Asking to Be Hacked?

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If you’ve ever said this, you’re asking to be hacked.

Want to know what every hacker hopes you believe? “We’re small … nobody wants to hack us.”

This is the number-one reason why people (companies) get hacked. They dismiss the importance of IT security because they’re only a “small business.” This is a lazy, irresponsible excuse.

One thing is for certain: No one is immune to cybercrime. In fact, one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime, and that number grows every year. Plus, half of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses because they make themselves low-hanging fruit, with sloppy or nonexistent security protocols.

And one more critical point to ponder: If you aren’t giving IT security the attention it deserves, how do you think your clients would feel to learn that? You need to do it to protect your clients’ data — if for no other reason — even if the only information about them you store is an email address.

If your system gets compromised, hackers will now have access to your clients’ email, which they can use for phishing scams and virus-laden spam. I’m sure your clients want you to be a good steward of their information and privacy. So stop lying to yourself. Get serious about putting essential security practices in place.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.

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