The 2021 fiscal season is messy. The coronavirus pandemic has created additional complications at an already stressful time for small business owners, as they deal with coronavirus-related staffing issues, ramifications of stimulus relief, and often obsolete computer systems.
What could be the ultimate complication? A cybersecurity attack on your business. But there is a solution: the best defense is a good offense and there are many preventative measures to be taken.
Small business owners have had more than ever in the past year; above all, they just try to keep the doors open. Presenting very complicated taxes for 2020 will not only be a challenge, but will also open them up to data breach. Employees and employers need to work together to protect their businesses. At Progressive Tech we specialize in practical IT solutions for small businesses to alleviate this burden
An Accenture study estimates that 43% of all cyberattacks are on small businesses and additional estimates indicate that approximately sixty percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a data breach or cyberattack. Tax filing makes companies especially vulnerable to data breach due to uncertainties about filing processes.
According to the IRS, “corporate identity thieves file fraudulent business statements to receive repayable business credits or to perpetuate individual identity theft.” There has also been a sharp rise in data breaches and piracy of state and federal databases, including unemployment piracy, where scammers paid $ 36 billion in fraudulent U.S. unemployment payments, as well as third party credit information.
If companies survive financially in a data gap, they face other challenges such as brand damage and reputation. Once a ransomware attack starts, it’s too late to stop it. The solution is to do preventive work in advance to keep your business safe.
First of all, IT security is everyone’s job. All employees must be part of the cybersecurity team. Here’s what employees need to do:
- Create robust passwords and use two-factor authentication. Passwords should be hard to guess and confidential. It is also crucial to use different passwords for different accounts.
- Avoid fishing tactics. Do not open mail attachments from an untrusted source.
- Do not install unauthorized software. Always check with IT first.
- Remember that the wireless connection is inherently insecure. Using a secure public WIFI connection allows hackers to position themselves between you and the connection point, so you can use a private access point or find a WIFI location secured by a secure password.
- Be vigilant. Report suspicious activity to your address immediately.
What small business owners should do:
- Deploy a firewall. Firewalls manage access to all incoming and outgoing data.
- Protect your company email. This is an easy way for hackers to gain access to your system. Use a trusted provider.
- Have a maintenance plan. Keep all antivirus and malware prevention programs up to date.
- Create an incident response plan. Know who to contact and what to do if a cybersecurity threat occurs.
- Think about outsourcing. Many small and medium-sized businesses are victims because they do not have enough security measures and qualified personnel.
Security breaches can occur at any time and tax-related computer violations are incredibly devastating. By targeting a trusted security solution provider, companies can come up with a customized solution tailored to their specific security needs.