By Chris Higdon
Small businesses were once just a blip on hackers’ radar, but now they’re among the primary targets.
Both large and small businesses face the same type of cyber threats, but larger businesses typically have bigger budgets and more expertise to defend against those threats. Because of this, hackers are seeing small businesses as easier targets and over the last five years have shifted their focus to this group. But small business owners, too, are taking steps to fight back.
The fall 2016 PNC Economic Outlook Survey shows small- and mid-size business owners across the country are concerned about cyber fraud, with 89 percent taking at least one precaution against it. According to the survey, the most common precaution is using antivirus/antispyware software with regular updates. Other common methods include regularly backing up important data, using a firewall and encrypting information.
These methods are paying off, as just one in 10 survey respondents report they have been the victim of an information security breach. That’s encouraging news for small business owners and customers, but not a reason to let down your guard.
Small business owners increasingly turn to technology to increase speed and efficiency for themselves and their customers. When asked about use of business banking services, 57 percent of survey respondents say they use online bill pay instead of paper checks. This was followed by remote deposit and business credit cards.
These services provide business owners a new level of convenience, but owners also must protect sensitive data for their business and their customers
What are some steps small business owners can take to reduce their risk of cyber fraud?:
Chris Higdon is a fraud systems specialist in PNC’s Enterprise Fraud Group.
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