In between 2008 and 2010, cyber criminals hacked about 53 small to medium-size businesses in the Seattle area, running off with enough information to wreak $3 million worth of damages in their customers, employees and the companies.

LineArtforWPD-SeattleP2Using fake payroll accounts, funds were methodically siphoned out. One of the companies had almost all of its employees’ identities stolen after the gang of crooks was able to crack their network security.

But at least they had some kind of a cyber security plan Most do not. According to a study done in 2012 of small businesses, about 83 percent of these businesses do not have a formal network security plan and 69 percent do not have even an informal security set-up.

LineArtforWPD-SeattleP4Here is another eye-opener. According to a research done in 2011, cyber attacks cost medium and small-size businesses about $188,242 in average, with about two-thirds of these victims being forced out of their business within only 6 months of the attack.

A study done in 2011 on data breaches, above 80 percent of hacked companies were “targets of opportunity”. This means that they did not have password protection for their Wi-Fi systems and had poor over-all network security, if they had one at all.

Turn yourself into a difficult target for hackers and keep your self and your business secure with these steps:

LineArtforWPD-SeattleNumberedList1. Encrypt your data
2. Secure your hardware
3. Lock your network
4. Install anti-malware and anti-virus protection
5. Educate your employees
6. Hire security

You have to remember that above the physical damage and fraud, there are costs that go without a price: the violation of security of customers, owners and employees. Plus, the future hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs who had to fold up their business.

That is why it is important for you to take your network security seriously. You do not want to be hacked next.