NewsRegion St Lucie CountyPort St Lucie

Actions

More hackers targeting small business owners. Here's what to do

Posted: 5:28 AM, Aug 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-21 05:28:42-04
wptv-hackers-cyber-security2.jpg

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — How safe is your business? We are all vulnerable to hackers, but now experts say small business owners are more at risk than ever before.

"Small businesses are a juicy, juicy target. They've become the No. 1 target for hackers and bad guys to get money from," said Alan Crowetz, an internet and security expert.

Crowetz said in the last couple months there has been a huge uptick in successful attacks against small businesses.

"Attacks where they empty bank accounts out, where they get money and are long gone before the business even realizes something happens," he said.

It's a headline that has the attention of small business owners like Christine Irizarry-Amoruso from Port St. Lucie, who owns Tradition Accounting and Bookkeeping.

"I really need to look at my practice and say, 'Where can I tighten up my controls, so I don't become a victim just like any other large corporation would,'" said Irizarry-Amoruso.

Security experts said there are things you can do to protect your small business. Secure your email system is at the top of the list.

"One of the hot things we are seeing is break-ins to emails," said Crowetz. "One of the easiest thing is two factor protection. One pass word is not enough. You need a code and password to get your email for all your employees."

Also, design fake systems.

"We can design fake systems where if someone touches them, like a bad guy, it will slam the door shut on them," said Crowetz.

Also, you should tighten up financial procedures for how money is moved.

"You need to have checks and balances of how to validate," said Crowetz.

And make sure to back up systems offline.

"Just taking backups to the cloud or home can make a dramatic difference," he said.

This is all advice that's taken to heart.

"I learned from other people's mistakes," said Irizarry-Amoruso.