The holiday season is fast approaching. This is good news for many retailers, as sales typically experience a major surge around this time. However, there is also significant danger, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as Experian recently highlighted. According to the information services company, this time of year often sees a significant rise in cybercriminal activity, thereby necessitating greater use of secure file transfer tools and other data protection solutions.
As Experian noted, many cybercriminals prefer to target SMBs rather than major corporations because smaller firms often possess less robust data protection. This makes them easier targets.
Furthermore, the source explained that retailers are particularly appealing to hackers because they typically possess a large amount of customer credit card data, which can then be used to commit identity theft and fraud.
"An organization categorized as a 'small business,' may still manage a large amount of confidential data, including customer and employee records," said Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution. "It's critical for these businesses that they take steps to prevent a breach and prepare for the chance that a breach might occur."
To this end, Experian provided a number of recommendations that SMBs should consider for minimizing the risk of a data breach.
First, the source advised businesses to conduct risk assessments which identify the data that is most sensitive and most likely to be targeted. This includes obvious information, such as credit card numbers, but also other identifying data that could be used by cybercriminals for fraudulent purposes.
Once this has been completed, SMBs need to invest in and implement data protection tools. These should be robust, including anti-malware, antivirus and firewall solutions.
Just as importantly, businesses should also deploy secure file transfer tools. After all, data is often most at risk when it is in motion - a fact that cybercriminals are well aware of. High-quality secure file transfer solutions can ensure that data remains safe even when it is being sent, received or shared by employees. This means that firms do not need to feel hampered in their abilities to collaborate with partners due to the fear of a data breach. On the contrary, communication and information distribution becomes safer, faster and easier than ever with industry-leading file sharing tools.