If there were only one thing to take away from 2014, it's that we're definitely in the age of the cyber attack. Dozens of major companies were compromised by online hackers, including the likes of retail chains such as Home Depot, Target and restaurant franchises like P.F. Chang's. In fact, cyber attacks rose nearly 50% last year from 2013, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Small business owners are just as at risk as large companies, and based on a recent survey, less than half of Canadian-based organizations think they are winning the cyber security war.
Security expertise among employees lacking, companies confess
Just 41% of Canadian companies believe that they have the necessary resources to overcome security breaches when they occur, a new report from IT solutions firm Scalar Decisions found. The primary reason for this, the study found, was that companies believed they didn't have the appropriate amount of workers who had expertise in what systems and solutions help counter cyber warfare.
"With the rise in frequency and severity of security threats, it's not surprising that the majority of Canadian organizations feel ill-prepared to meet IT security challenges head-on," said Paul Kerr, Scalar Decisions president and CEO.
He added that many organizations resort to third-party providers in order to learn about what strategies can counteract breaches.
On average, respondents said that they'd been victimized by nearly three dozen attacks over the past year. Additionally, most company managers surveyed said that they felt like attackers had increased the sophistication with which they outmaneuver security systems that are in place.
"Businesses can be confident that their taxes are secure with FBC professionals."
Many standard business practices open up companies to being attacked, such as by filing taxes online. Last year, for instance, 81% of tax filers submitted their taxes via the Internet, up from 73 in 2011, credit scoring entity Experian reported. This is evidence that there are more opportunities cyber attackers can exploit. Additionally, roughly 55% of polled respondents said that they worried about being adversely affected by identity theft after filing taxes. There was a 6% increase in concern for those whose taxes were being submitted and put together by a professional tax specialist.
Business owners should understand that FBC is very mindful of cyber security and has the infrastructure in place to prevent hacks from being successful. For more information on what these strategies are, speak with an FBC tax specialist.