New FTC Website Aims to Help Small Businesses Avoid Scams and Cyberattacks
Scams and cyberattacks can be particularly devastating to small businesses, and many of them lack the resources that larger companies have to combat fraud
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new website with articles, videos, and other information aimed at helping small business owners avoid scams and protect their computers and networks from cyberattacks and other threats.
"Small businesses are critical to our economic strength, building America's future, and helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace," Acting Chairman Ohlhausen said. "This innovative new website is a one-stop shop where small businesses can find information to protect themselves from scammers and hackers, as well as resources they can use if they are hit with a cyberattack."
According to the U.S.Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 28 million small businesses nationwide. Those businesses employ nearly 57 million people. Scammers frequently target small businesses with deceptive tactics designed to get them to pay for supplies they didn't order, donate to fake charities or trick them into giving access to their network, or downloading malware that can corrupt their business's computers.
Cyberattacks can be particularly devastating to small businesses, and many of them lack the resources that larger companies have to devote to cybersecurity. Symantec Corp.'s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report (link is external) indicates the percentage of spear-phishing attacks targeting small business rose dramatically from 18 percent to 43 percent between 2011 and 2015.
The FTC's new web page offers specific information to help small businesses protect their networks and their customer data. This includes a new Small Business Computer Security Basics guide—which shares computer security basics to help companies protect their files and devices, train employees to think twice before sharing the business's account information, and keep their wireless network protected—a as well as how to respond to a data breach. It also has information on other cyber threats such as ransomware and phishing schemes targeting small businesses.
The FTC says that it is continuing to work with the SBA on additional ways to help small businesses.