Imagine a scenario something like this:
It’s Tuesday morning after a long weekend. The bookkeeper comes in a little late but hits the books right away. She comes into your office and asks you about a series of wire transfers you made over the holiday weekend to new employees who apparently live overseas. You protest. “We don’t have any employees overseas and I didn’t make any transfers.” Tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars vanished and you have no idea how to get them back.
You are a victim of cyber crime.
Cyber crime against small business is happening to the tune of several billion dollars a year. Hackers are raiding small business bank accounts and banks are pointing their finger at their customers. Why? Because in most cases the bank did nothing wrong. There are no actual data breaches at the banks. Cyber crime is taking place right in the offices of small businesses on their own PCs. The cyber criminal hacked into a desktop computer, often via a virus or worm, took control of the system and found all the login information for your banking account.
Blooomberg reports “Organized criminal gangs, operating mostly out of Eastern Europe, target small companies, school districts and local governments that maintain fat commercial bank accounts protected by rudimentary security measures at community or regional banks. The accounts typically aren’t covered by insurance as individual accounts are.”
Small business owners must face the changing landscape of cyber crime and beef up their security. Hackers and cyber criminals no longer exclusively target billion dollar companies. You must beef up your information security. Firewalls, strong passwords, and security audits are the new normal.
It is also time to have a talk with your banker. Find out what procedures are in place to protect your company when a hacker strikes. Some banks cannot help; especially the smaller ones. It may be time for you to move to a bigger bank that has a the ability to help protect you.
Ultimately, cyber security is your responsibility. Otherwise, just send your money overseas.