Online scams and frauds are one of the biggest threats to global cyber security, and small businesses are more often than not the primary victims of that. The logic is simple: small businesses often lack both the secure protocols and the business expertise to avoid such attacks. This is why the Federal Trade Commission has launched ftc.gov/SmallBusiness,a website that will help small business be aware of avoiding scams and protecting their business from cyber-attacks.
The Acting Chairman, Maureen Ohlhausen, commented that the US Government realize how important small businesses are for the economic growth of the nation, hence the website aims to serve as the ultimate destination to make small business owners aware of the risks and procedures of cyber security.
As a small context, it will be well worth to know that there are about 28 million small businesses across the United States, which employs a total of 57 million people if we believe the reports of US Small Business Administration. Since the numbers are so huge, it becomes easier for hackers to choose from and more difficult for the government to protect everyone. Small businesses, like we mentioned, are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks since they do not have the resources of big corporations to set up secure protocols. More often than not, it only takes a few minutes for a professional hacker to get into a typical small firm’s system. Most of the times, the attack is fairly textbook: fool them into downloading a file that is a malware, trick them into donating money to fake charities, making them pay for orders by making fake receipts or something to that effect. Sometimes, hackers go for a more sophisticated technique, like finding a breach in the company’s network and accessing vital information. Overall, the conclusion remains the same: if you don’t know the basics of cyber security, it is fairly simple for any teenager who knows his stuff to steal your money.
As it happens, most small businesses in the US don’t know the basics of cyber security, which compelled the FTC to launch the website. The website provides beginner’s guide about cyber security and the basic protocols you should employ in your company in order to prevent attacks and scams. It also aims to educate the employees about the threat, by informing them how to maintain the privacy of files, how to secure their network from external unauthorized access and how to react in case of an actual attack. The web page also gives information about the standard attacks like phishing and the newer threats like ransomware. The good thing is that FTC is aiming to make it a continuing initiative instead of a one-shot, and hence is working with SBA to keep updating the website with newer guidelines and threats.
If you are a small business owner, you should take this very seriously. The Federal Trade Commission is doing all it can to help you, but it requires efforts from your side too. In case you have further queries, you could always contact them on their helpline number, or contact them on Facebook or Twitter.