Hackers Could Be Coming After Your Small Business

Hacker with laptop

It’s easy to see why hackers love to target small businesses. They typically can’t afford the types of state-of-th e-art security systems large corporations can, especially when it comes to protecting the information transmitted across a network. According to Symantec, attacks on small businesses made up more than 30 percent of all cyber attacks during the year 2012.

It is important to realize, however, that a hacker has more opportunities to worm his way onto your network than just via an unsecured desktop or laptop computer. It doesn’t actually require a computer at all. Before you can start protecting yourself against these people, you need to familiarize yourself with what can and cannot be hacked in your office.

Closed Circuit Cameras

Closed circuit cameras are the types of cameras typically installed with a standard security system. The information recorded can be monitored only on a local feed. If those cameras connect to the Web, which they do if you have the option to view them remotely, they can be hacked if you haven’t taken the proper steps to protect yourself. Someone could potentially see a live feed from your business at all times without your knowledge.

Appliances

“Smart” appliances, such as refrigerators and even coffee makers, can potentially be turned into spying devices by hackers. If your coffee pot has a voice activation system that also provides information from the Internet, for example, that means the unit also has a microphone installed. Someone could be listening to you and your employees talk and share business information without your knowledge.

Television Sets

Most small businesses of all types have at least one television set installed on site. If that set was purchased in the last few years, it is probably a “smart” TV that connects to the Internet. It may even have a built-in Web cam. So long as that device is connected to the Web, it can be a target for hackers. The Web cam can be turned on without your knowledge, and all activity that happens in front of it can be recorded at a remote location.

Video Conference Systems

Most modern-day video conference systems work on VoIP technology, which means they use Internet access instead of traditional phone lines. As a result, someone could potentially be watching your every move during a video conference without you actually knowing it.

Both online and in-person security companies are excellent resources for finding the types of information you need to protect your business from these types of attacks. If a massive vulnerability was identified with your security system, for example, you would be able to read about it online, and take the steps necessary to plug the security hole before your problem goes from bad to worse. Even though modern-day alarm systems can be hacked just as easily as the desktop or laptop computers in your office, these systems (and the professionals who install them) also have safeguards and security measures in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen.

Apps for Mobility

If you’ve got a “smart” device in your office that is both connected to the Internet and controlled by an application on your phone, it has the potential to be hacked if you’re not careful. Even something as simple as the mechanism inside your company car that remotely turns it on and off can be the target for a hacker if your security systems aren’t adequate. Go-Gulf.com reports attacks using viruses, malware and worms to attack these types of devices made up 50 percent of all cyber attacks.

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