The entire country and arguably the entire world is going hi-tech, and for many different reasons. Whether we talk about running a visa card at a local super market or a physician’s office keeping electronic health records, it seems everywhere you turn the switch to storing and sharing data electronically is present. So, when starting a small business knowing how to keep all of your information and all of your customer’s information secure should be a top priority. Threats to the security of your information are varied from computer hackers, to disgruntled employees, to simple operator carelessness.
BU111- Bus Organization & Management
December 3, 2012
When starting up a small business the worry of keeping their computer system safe from outside threats is not at the top of their priority list. Like the average home user, small business owners are aware of the need for an antivirus program. However, the extent of their security system lies there, “small businesses are especially easy prey because many lack firewalls and monitoring systems” (Ryckman B11). I based this opinion on what I have seen and what I have experienced in both my professional and personal life. This topic has gained interest from computer researchers over the past few years, and will continue to gain interest in the years to come. I can recall a time when the breach of cyber security personally affected me. One day while pumping gas I saw that my debit card had been declined. I knew there was money available due to the fact that I had just deposited a large amount a few days prior. After calling my bank to inquire about the situation they informed me that there was an issue with my card and a new one was on the way, sorry for the inconvenience. I thought, wow. I have a great bank. My card is already on the way. A few weeks had gone by when I was reading and article regarding a large chain of supermarkets in which “4.2 million account numbers were stolen over three months by thieves who cracked computers” ("New York Times" News ). The article went on to say how after catching the thieves it was recommended that all credit card companies involved take precautionary measures by cancelling and replacing all customer cards with new ones. One of those stores was right down the road from where I live and I shopped there regularly. There are many forms of computer/network security. The size of your company and what type of business you plan on operating will determine the extent of security to which you need. “According to Verizon’s 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report, small to medium-sized businesses have become hackers’ main targets” (Navetta). This again may be due to the lack of security one may think they need when starting a small business. There has always been the concern and cost for a lock on the door and even a monitored security system. However, as the underground business of hacking grows we will see an increase in the demand for a more advanced security system which will in turn raise the startup cost of any business. “A new generation of web based application security options is opening to smaller businesses. None of these tools are Norton AntiVirus cheap: Companies should expect to spend at least $15,000 annually” (BLUM 58-62). “These attacks are often costly and can cause significant financial stress for small and medium companies. In Symantec’s 2010 SMB Information Protection Survey, companies reported that the average annual cost of cyber attacks for small and medium organizations was $188,242.”(Navetta). When you first see a number like $188,242 you think well that will never happen to me, I don’t have that kind of money to lose. Hackers are smart. Once a hacker has found its way into your system they will stay there until they are detected. If there is no security measure in place they will monitor the system for long periods of time in order to figure out the most opportune time to steal your data