Small Business Security Vulnerabilities (and how to avoid them)

There’s a general assumption among small business owners that only large corporations have to deal with IT security concerns. In fact, small businesses face a range of vulnerabilities that many corporations don’t face at all—and if they do, they have an entire IT department dedicated to fighting those security concerns.

To that end, we give all of our small business clients a detailed rundown on the potential security risks their business may face, depending on their industry, the size of their team, and the age of their technology. In general, there are five major security misconceptions that affect small businesses. Luckily, knowing these exist is half the battle—and you can take easy, quick steps to protect your business.

Misconception #1: Antivirus is enough for my business security.

 Many business owners install antivirus software on their business machines and call it a day. The misconception here is that a single program can completely protect your business from hackers and data loss. In fact, antivirus alone is not enough to stop most of the malicious information that poses a threat to your business.

A combination of antivirus and antimalware is more effective than antivirus alone. Viruses and malware are constantly evolving, being rewritten, and being published under new disguises. Antivirus and antimalware programs update often to tackle what they can—but how often have you clicked “remind me tomorrow” when your security software asks for an update?

Even if you have the best antivirus and antimalware installed (which can get pretty pricy), your best bet is remote monitoring and management through your managed service provider. Through RMM, you have someone keeping an eye on potential security risks, quarantining questionable files, and tackling security breaches 24/7/265.

 Misconception #2: I don’t need a firewall.

 A firewall is a network security system that monitors network traffic (both incoming and outgoing), and decides what to let through and what to block. Many small business owners believe their network is “too small” to require a firewall. However, a firewall is often the first line of defense your network has against outside access. Without a firewall, it’s much easier for a hacker to access sensitive information, like credit card numbers, bank info, and employee personal information.

 Misconception #3: My Internet service is secure as is.

 Did you know your Internet router comes with an administrator login? And did you know that most companies use the same default username and password for all routers? Without the proper router security, an outside invader could access your network by logging into your router with default passwords, which are often never reset once Internet service begins. The easiest way to combat this is to set new, secure credentials for your router, but you might also need additional security features.

 Misconception #4: My team is too small and well trained to fall for a phishing attack.

 Many small businesses operate in small teams, with less than a dozen employees. In a team so small, it’s easy to think that everyone will double-check email addresses and phone numbers to guarantee someone is who they say they are. However, as our small business clients know, the fast pace and intense workload of startup companies often requires immediate action on requests, and it’s easy for one mis-click or slip-up to grant a hacker access to company information. Small teams especially need security training, and established protocols for how to deal with security threats or breaches.

 Misconception #5: Security is too expensive to make it worth it.

This misconception is the biggest of all. Many small business owners leave their IT to chance, simply because they think it’s too expensive to invest in. However, leaving your system vulnerable is never worth a few dollars saved each month. It’s true that some security features, like firewalls, come with a large up-front cost. However, the monthly maintenance fees are often extremely low—and so are the fees for monthly subscriptions, like GTS’s remote monitoring and management.

No business is so small that it should sacrifice its IT needs. Contact us today at (904) 606-6011 or to learn more about our offerings for small businesses. We’re here to listen, and we’re here to help!


Paul May