Networking computers and devices to communicate with each other and the outside world is a business necessity. It’s allowed many conveniences such as printing wirelessly from several computers to one device and utilizing cloud backup systems.

But for all the modern convenience a network brings, there’s also a big responsibility to keep it secure. Otherwise you could be putting your entire company at risk.

Office technology has changed rapidly over the last two decades. You used to be able to just lock your files in a cabinet and lock your building to keep everything secure, but now businesses have to employ that same security in digital form.

The Modern Workplace by Prima Technologies is often called upon to help small business clients with cybersecurity. Sometimes it’s as a proactive protection to keep data breaches from happening, but unfortunately, other times it’s to help clean up after one has occurred.

Securing their business network isn’t usually the first thing on a business owner’s mind when they walk into the office in the morning. They’re worried about sales, filling orders, and growing their business.

But if your network isn’t truly secure, you’re at risk for some very real problems that could end up bringing your business to a halt.

In this article, which is part one of a two-part series, we’ll discuss the risks and dangers of an insecure business network. Then in part 2, we’ll tell you what you can do to make sure your security is rock solid.

How is My Business at Risk if My Network is Not Secure Enough?

Imagine if you walked in one day and the entire office had been cleaned out. All the files gone, and computer and devices gone. That would be a huge loss. A cybercriminal can do the same thing to your digital files with just a few keystrokes. And in today’s technology driven world, more files are digital than not.

516,380 small and medium Australian businesses were cybercrime victims in 2017. (SmartCompany)

A misconception some small businesses have is that they’re not targets of hackers. “Why would they want to waste time with my business when there are bigger ones out there?” is a common question.

But in reality, hackers go after small businesses more than larger ones because they tend to have networks that aren’t as well secured as the larger enterprise corporations.

Cyber criminals also aren’t only looking for a big haul, they’re just as happy hitting many easier to get into smaller companies for an average of $4677 each (average ransom requested from a ransomware attack).

It only takes one employee being duped into opening a malicious file attachment from a phishing email to take down your business for hours, days, or more.

If your network isn’t secure, you’re a prime target. Here are the types of dangers you’re facing.

Loss of Data

According to SmartCompany, only about one third of Australian small and medium businesses say they’re backing up continuously. Companies that don’t have a near real-time backup are at risk of losing vital files that could take weeks to recreate, if they can recover them at all.

Breach of Customer Data

Even worse in most cases than losing your own data is having a customer’s credit card details or other sensitive information stolen through a breach of your network. This can mean a big loss of reputation and trust that can cost a company business for years after just one data breach.

Legal and Financial Costs

When companies suffer a data breach, it could put them in violation of data privacy regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR. The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, which went into effect in Australia on 22 February 2018, requires notification in the event of a data breach. And it carries fines up to $2.1 million for failure to comply.

Downtime & Resulting Lost Business

About a quarter of businesses that suffer a data breach experience 25 hours or more of downtime after the incident. Once a network breach happens, productivity and forward motion stop as it’s “all hands on deck” to fix the issue and get the breach repaired as soon as possible.

Cost of Clean Up and Device/Network Repair

It’s important to call in an IT professional, like The Modern Workplace by Prima Technologies, as soon as possible after a breach has occurred so the network can be assessed, and the proper security measures put into place right away.

If the breach resulted in a virus or malware being deployed, then the costs could be higher as each device may need to be cleaned of the virus and repaired.

Stolen Logins and Credentials

Some breaches are designed to happen quietly, so you don’t even realize that a malicious script has infected your network. Spyware can record keystrokes and is used to steal logins to things like bank account sites or shopping websites that have your saved credit card information.

Don’t miss part two of this series to find out how to best secure your business network and avoid these dangers.

Would You Like a Complimentary Network Security Review?

How sure are you that your business network is as secure as it needs to be? Don’t leave it to chance, why not call in The Modern Workplace by Prima Technologies for a security review. We’ll let you know if you have any vulnerabilities and what to do about them. Call us today at 1300 795 105 or contact us online.