Cybercrime can cost small business owners a great deal

In many ways, the responsibilities facing an Illinois small business owner today are the same as those facing their counterparts a century ago. The need to come up with a solid concept, research the market and build a solid and loyal customer base are all still intrinsic to business success. However, in today's business climate, there are new considerations facing small business owners, including the need to address cybercrime.

The data that is collected during the course of business is an incredibly valuable resource. This value is recognized by not only the business owner, but also by those who would stand to profit from the theft and misuse of this data. Cybercrime is a profitable endeavor, and the loss of data can be devastating to a small business owner.

There are steps that can be taken to protect against this type of theft. One method involves purchasing and installing top-quality antivirus software on all computers that access or store sensitive data. Another tactic is ensuring that all browsers, plug-ins and the operating system are up to date. Updates can be automated, making the process far simpler.

When a small business owner believes that he or she has been subjected to an act of cybercrime, it may be worth the effort and expense to determine the identity of the data thief. Law enforcement and the court system are becoming more accustomed to dealing with instances of cybercrime. In many cases, the matter can be brought before an Illinois court, and the owner can reclaim losses through an award of damages.

Source: US News and World Report, "How to Protect Your Small Business From Cybercriminals," Daniel Bortz, June 21, 2013

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