Small Firms = Big Targets for Hackers

Hackers are starting to move away from “big scores” that are harder to accomplish, and are moving on to smaller and ultimately easier and more profitable thefts from small and medium-sized businesses, whose generally lax to non-existent security systems make for easy and quick money.

In physics, there’s a concept called ‘the path of least resistance’. The meaning is plain enough objects that move in a system take the path where they will encounter the least challenges and hurdles in order to quickly move to wherever they are going.

Apparently, the same principle applies to hackers nowadays. Instead of targeting larger firms for that big ‘score’, hackers are now considering it more feasible and much easier to victimize smaller firms and companies, even for a much smaller amount of money.

Why is that? First, smaller companies generally have much more vulnerable IT systems. Security is minimal or average at best, and the hackers don’t get as much heat or attention when compared to trying to breach the much more complicated, state-of-the-art security systems of bigger firms and businesses. Take a small newsstand business in Chicago: cyberthieves were able to install a Trojan in the cash registers which sent swiped credit card numbers to Russia. When the jig was discovered, Mastercard subsequently demanded an investigation – at the expense of the business owner – and the proprietor had to shell out a hefty $22,000.(i)

A survey in the United States reveals that more than half of small or medium-sized businesses believed that they ran no risk of being victimized by hackers, and less than half of the respondents had security systems in place.(ii) That looks like a path of least resistance, as far as hackers are concerned.

The loss of a few thousand bucks may not be much for a big business, but it can make a significant dent on the profits and sustainability of smaller organizations. And in the case of implanted viruses that steal credit card information, your reputation can also take a big hit. So if you want your business to stay truly safe before it’s too late, please contact us so we can discuss options and blueprints to make your business secure.

References: (i) and (ii)



Yes or No to IT Consumerization?

The growing trend of consumerization in IT might seem to be all butterflies and rainbows on the surface, but there are also many very serious concerns that need to be addressed and studied in order to know how exactly it will impact you and the way you do business.

Read more...



Time to Upgrade Your OS and Server?

Still on an old Microsoft system? It might be time to move up and do an upgrade, as studies and tests are showing consistently better performance from the new Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2. Your old system might be limping along, but there’s no harm in making things better and improving your productivity.

Read more...



Change the AutoRecover Interval in Microsoft Office 2007/2010

AutoRecoverA very useful feature in Microsoft Office is called “AutoRecover”, which automatically saves your document at specified time intervals so that in case of an application or system crash, Office can recover its latest version.

Read more...



Disable Tab Previews of Internet Explorer in Windows 7

If you are using Internet Explorer and Windows 7, you may have noticed that when you mouse over an IE browser window, a preview of the open tabs in the browser is shown. While this is useful to give you an idea of the sites you have open, it can get annoying if you have multiple tabs open at the same time. If you would prefer to disable this feature, you can.

Read more...



cartoon