Small and medium-sized businesses all have one thing in common, they want to grow their company and improve internal operations. In today’s world, that means using new technologies and adapting your IT strategy to access operational efficiencies and new revenue streams.
As companies become increasingly digital, however, the threat of cybercrime continues to evolve. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly skilled at finding vulnerabilities in business accounts and networks that aren’t properly secured.
Despite an increased threat, many small to medium-sized businesses are still under the impression that they are safe from cybercrime - whether it’s because they believe they're too small to target or they falsely believe they’ve taken the correct security measures.
With that in mind, here’s our top five cybersecurity myths that all business owners should know:
#1 - Your business is too small to be a target for cybercriminals
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. As of December 2018, there were 1.2 million employer businesses in Canada, according to the Government of Canada, with 1.18 million (97.9 percent) of those being small businesses.
In fact, more than half of Canada’s small employer businesses are located right here in Ontario, with over 429,852 small businesses operating out of the province.
Since small and medium-sized businesses make up almost all of Canada’s economy, they store a large amount of valuable data. That, combined with the fact they often have weaker security measures than larger organizations, makes them an attractive proposition for cybercriminals - even if small business owners don’t think so.
#2 - You have antivirus software, therefore you are safe
Antivirus software is an important aspect of keeping your organization secure from cybercrime, but it won’t protect you from all possible threats and it’s certainly not an all-in-one solution that you can simply download and then be done with your security measures.
Antivirus software should be a part of your cybersecurity strategy, but that’s it - just one cog in a very important machine. Your total solution should include employee training, two-factor authentication, frequent password changes and much more.
#3 - Your business doesn’t have any data that is worth stealing
One of the biggest myths we hear at OT Group is organizations who claim, since they don’t collect payment details online from customers, that they don’t have any data that’s worth stealing. Every single company has data that’s worth stealing, and the consequences of data theft can be crippling for your business.
Every company collects valuable customer information that any cybercriminal would love to get their hands on to use for malicious purposes. Any type of customer information is a commodity for cybercriminals, and your business must ensure it protects that data.
#4 - Passwords provide adequate protection for your company accounts
A strong password is the foundation to any cybersecurity strategy, but, like antivirus software, just having a good password isn’t enough to protect your company from criminal activity.
While strong passwords are secure at first, they become weaker over time. Employees often use passwords that are easy to guess, or reuse the same one across multiple websites and accounts. These poor password practices can actually make your business vulnerable to cybercrime.
To properly secure your accounts it’s important that your employees change their passwords frequently, as well as implement two-factor authentication, which requests any person logging into an account to present an additional piece of verification (such as a code that’s sent via SMS to their cell phone).
#5 - Cybersecurity solutions are too expensive
A large number of small and medium-sized businesses across Ontario are under the impression that cybersecurity solutions are simply too expensive for them to implement. This simply isn’t true. Your business doesn’t have to spend a tonne of money on state-of-the-art technology to protect your data.
Any good cybersecurity strategy should be designed for the specific needs of your business, and involve a combination of employee training, improved processes and new technologies. With the right advice, this can be done in a cost-effective manner.
How to ensure your business is protected from cybercrime
While you can certainly create your own cybersecurity strategy in-house, there’s no replacement for working with a highly-skilled and experienced technology expert who can design a plan that’s specific to your organization’s requirements.
To make this easy for small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario, OT Group has partnered with cybersecurity software developer Field Effect to offer the company’s innovative Covalence cybersecurity technology to companies in the province.
Covalence is an end-to-end cybersecurity platform that automates the entire cybersecurity process, monitoring an organization’s cloud services, networks and devices in real-time for potential threats and vulnerabilities.
If a threat or vulnerability is found, Covalence provides actionable reports on how your company can improve its cybersecurity measures.
Want to learn more about Covalence and how to protect your small or medium-sized business from cybersecurity threats? Contact OT Group today. We have years’ of experience in designing innovative IT strategies and cybersecurity solutions for businesses in Ontario.