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Are Toronto Small Businesses at Risk?

2011 has been a busy year for security experts worldwide. Major corporations have been reporting harmful attacks by hackers. So far, technology news site CNET has reported over 80 known major hacks since March that have been publicized.

thumb_c9b002fe1bb0320831a8ae78670fdb6f2011 has been a busy year for security experts worldwide. Major corporations have been reporting harmful attacks by hackers. So far, technology news site CNET has reported over 80 known major hacks since March that have been publicized. The publication of these hacks is inevitable, especially when user-data, contact information, and credit card information is at risk, and that publication can easily cause a PR disaster which can take loads of time and money to rectify (and in some cases, just can’t be rectified). The big questions are who is at risk, are Toronto small businesses at risk, and what kinds of IT solutions need to be deployed to prevent data-theft and other intrusions.

Granted, CNET’s only covering big companies and organizations like Sony, Toshiba, UK ATM, RIM, Lockheed Martin, PBS, NATO, and many more, including government entities worldwide. Is it possible hackers are targeting companies in, say, Richmond Hill?

The Wall Street Journal recently did an article about a small firm, a magazine store, that was struck with a hacker attack. Of course, this didn’t grab the same headlines that say, Sony Corp and Lockheed Martin did. Why would a hacker target a small business? The reason is small businesses have weaker (or no) security protocols in place. In fact, security is such an issue for small businesses that Visa Inc. estimates 95% of all reported credit-card theft are generated from their small business customers. Data theft is a very serious element to security, and when proper precautions aren’t in place, it leaves your doors wide open. Sometimes a hacker doesn’t even need to know your business, just picking up some malware can open the doors to an attack.

PACE Technical Services recommends having your IT security evaluated. Updated, managed anti-virus, Windows security patches, and managed firewalls are a good start. Report any strange activity to your IT department. It only takes a single piece of nearly invisible malware to send sensitive data to a hacker.

Even in Toronto, and everywhere else in the world, security an important issue for small businesses. Whether your organization does a lot, a little, or nothing at all to protect your company (and customer) data, it doesn’t hurt to have your network evaluated to check for security holes. Contact us today at 905.763.7896 to schedule a full network evaluation to see where your weak points are.

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