Finance

3 Reasons Businesses Can’t Let Their Digital Guards Down

Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about network security? Sure it would. However, the real world doesn’t allow for such a nonchalant attitude about digital security. In fact, modern business absolutely cannot let its digital guard down. Everyone from IT experts to payroll professionals must remain ever-diligent to avoid being victimized by scammers.

What about your business? How diligent is your company about digital security? If you are not too concerned about things, there are three reasons you really should be. All are three are big reasons businesses cannot let down their digital guards.

1. There’s Always Something New

Just when you think you have seen the last of the major network breaches, another one comes along. Over the years we’ve seen banks, movie studios, retail chains, and even U.S. government agencies fall victim to hackers. Some of the hacks have been large enough to compromise millions of identities.

The reality of cybercrime is that it pays. And because it pays, there is constant motivation for hackers to dream up new ways to make cybercrime work. That means there is always something new on the horizon. As a case in point, consider a new phishing scam the IRS recently began warning businesses about.

The scam involves contacting businesses, payroll providers, and tax preparers in an attempt to gain access to direct deposit and wire transfer information. The scam usually involves a hacker posing as a high-level company executive sending an e-mail to someone in human resources or payroll with a request to change direct deposit information. An unwitting employee who furnishes that information is providing hackers with access to his or her bank account. It could be several pay cycles before the scam is uncovered.

2. Scams Don’t Have to Be Technical

The scam described above is by no means technical. There doesn’t have to be malware or a virus infecting employee computers and stealing information. Malicious software certainly does exist, but scammers have found it far more profitable to send phishing e-mails, spoofed e-mails, etc.

It should be obvious that these kinds of attacks occur at the individual user level. Someone opens an e-mail and has to make a decision about the information therein. A person who is not diligent about security can easily fall victim to such a scam. It happens all the time.

3. Cyber Crime Hurts Innocent Victims

Cybercrime targeted at businesses often creates innocent victims of people who may not have any connection to those businesses other than being customers. In other words, scams are not only targeted at companies and their employees. They can also affect any customers whose personal information is found on company computers.

Also understand that cybercrime can create innocent victims from business-to-business (B2B) relationships. BenefitMall, a Dallas-based provider of payroll and benefits administration services, explains that a payroll provider could expose all its clients and each of their employees by falling victim to cybercrime.

Imagine the amount of personal information available to hackers capable of gaining access to a payroll provider’s data. Depending on how deeply the hackers got, they could potentially have access to company banking information along with individual employee direct deposit information. That says nothing of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, etc.

We would not have to worry about network security in a perfect world. But this world is far from perfect. Regardless of how your company handles payroll, billing, etc., digital security should be an absolute priority. We live in a day and age in which businesses letting down their digital guards is just unacceptable.