Part 1, Knowing the Risks

Cybersecurity: How to Keep Your Business From Becoming a Victim

Written by 
Peggy Leimkuhler
Oct 22, 2020
9:30 am

48% of small businesses had at least 1 cyberattack in 2018. Every business has something that hackers want, and you need to know the risks to keep your business from becoming a victim.

Video Transcript

Every business has something the hackers want. In some cases its information. In some cases it's your proprietary intellectual property. In some cases, it's the ability to have access to your funds. But all businesses are susceptible to cyberattack, and oftentimes small businesses are more interesting targets to the hackers, because quite frankly, they don't have to work as hard. Small businesses tend to have less sophisticated controls, less automated controls, and they may not have a technology person, let alone a technology department, on staff to help them to make sure that their business isn't subject to compromise.

So when a business is breached, and money is stolen via the cyberchannel, or the computer channel from the business - that is because the business is what is compromised.

Black Hat attackers typically are not attacking bank systems for access to individual business transactions. Banks spend a lot of money and a lot of time. This a primary and core competency because our number one job is to keep your information and your money secure.

And the hackers know that, so they do not spend their time going after the bank systems, when it's so much easier to go after a small business system. As a CEO, as a small business owner, you're thinking about taking care of your clients, doing the business that is what's bringing in the revenue for your business. You may not be thinking about cybersecurity as needing to be a core competency. But in today's world every small business owner needs to understand the importance of cybersecurity and keeping their business and their information secure.

So email inherently is not secure.

We should not be transmitting in email: information, personal financial information, or personal details. Anything that we don't want the hackers to have access to, shouldn’t be communicated in email.

But more importantly than that, we need to understand when we say email isn't secure, that means you need to understand if you receive an email giving you direction, asking you for information, and know what your style looks like, and how you typically would write an email. And so, if I receive an email and I think it's from my best friend, and it sounds like my best friend, but it's including some information that I need to click on or download, and I wasn't expecting it, I need to stop. I need to be a little bit suspicious there and I need to say I wasn't expecting this. So before I actually go do this thing, I better make sure it really was my friend. Now, my friend, it's my boss, it's a co-worker, I have other ways to be in touch with that person. And that's the mindset that we need our businesses and our employees, and even each of us as individuals, to have.

Peggy Leimkuhler
Chief Operating Officer
​Firstrust Bank


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