The costly expense of recovering from a data breach can be avoided by simply looking for safer alternatives while using the internet.
OpenVPN, Inc. has issued a warning to all small businesses, for them to get their online security ready for Small Business Saturday. According to OpenVPN CEO, Francis Dinha any disruption in services for small businesses can have serious implications.
He said that not only can there be harm caused to the actual business in terms of potential legal issues, clients can be lost forever should they believe their personal information is unsafe for a particular business. A recent study commissioned by Bank of America Merchant Services showed that 31% of small businesses which reported data breaches spent in excess of $50,000 to resolve their issues. And, this excluded the potential cost of reputational harm done.
Dinha explained that what the criminals would do is hijack a bunch of computers and send a variety of data packages out which would bring down the small business site. He said one could think of it as a lot of traffic that jams access to small businesses websites. This sort of attack is called a DDOS or a Denial of Service Attack. And similar to a traffic jam on the roads it can be started with just one careless person.
The VP of Business Development for OpenVPN, Gary McCloud, said that having just one employee surfing an apparently harmless website could without warning download malicious software to your computer system This, will in turn, potentially an entire business. This is because even a secured Wi-Fi network is simply not as safe as it sounds.
Dinha said that although a secured Wi-Fi may exist through a third party provider, the encryption is not all that safe. The study also showed that 20% of consumers would never return to a business if they knew their personal data had been compromised in any way. The federal government itself has set up a slew of online security guidelines for small businesses as it recognized the potential threat to businesses that employ between 20 and 100 people.
Dinha added that while the large companies have an advanced infrastructure to prevent cyber attacks, many small to medium businesses are the most vulnerable.
He recommended that small and medium-sized businesses make use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt information. OpenVPN prevents more than 1 million cyber attacks each day.
Small Business Saturday which was started in 2010 aims to support smaller businesses. It is comfortably nestled between Black Friday, traditionally a big box store event and Cyber Monday when shoppers would find the biggest sales online.