Tech Tip: If You’ve Ever Said This, You’re Asking to Be Hacked

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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 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 are small; with sloppy or nonexistent security protocols, they make themselves low-hanging fruit.

Here’s 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 about that?

If for no other reason, you need to step up to protect your clients’ data, even if the only information about them you store is a few email addresses. If your system gets compromised, hackers will now have access to your clients’ email and can use that for phishing scams and virus-laden spam.

You can be sure that your clients want you to be a good steward of their information and privacy. Stop kidding yourself — it’s time to 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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