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Hackers are aggravating to abduct what’s yours.

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Sean Etesham and Richard Idigo are two of the sharpest adolescent men I accept met in absolutely some time, so the cyberhack these entrepreneurs accomplished one contempo day abashed us all.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so a few weeks ago I was asked by admiral from the Microsoft Store to participate in a video affirmation in Los Angeles to appearance aloof how accessible best baby businesses are to cyberattack. Sean and Richard, Microsoft Store customers, agreed to participate. 

You can see what happened in the video accompanying this story, but let me accord you a little background.

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A brace of years ago, Sean was a arch at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, on his way to accepting his PhD in physics back he got a big idea. Sean alleged up his acquaintance Richard to see if he would be absorbed in Sean’s begin – starting an online vegan bakery that would use a cable model. Richard, who had afresh accelerating from Cal Poly with a amount in algebraic and computer science (like I said, these guys are uber smart), would be the arch advice administrator and Sean would be the CEO.

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From its start, the business – Quants Bakery – was a hit. Their plant-based chocolate dent cookies, brownies, croissants, etc., are abundantly adorable and the business is eco-friendly from top to bottom. No admiration 5’Oclock Hustle says, “Quants Bakery is axis the vegan broiled appurtenances industry on its head.”

The entrepreneurs additionally take cybersecurity cool seriously. Says Richard, “We assassin a third-party bell-ringer to handle aegis and we thoroughly vetted them first. On top of that, we use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in adjustment to adumbrate our IP addresses and encrypt our internet connections. So yes, we absolutely accept in security.”

When the Microsoft Store asked them to be allotment of the demo, they readily agreed, cerebration it would confirm their armpit was safe and secure.

Does that complete familiar? Best baby business owners either assume their armpit and abstracts is safe, or they artlessly avoid the abeyant for problems. Both are mistakes.

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There are all sorts of agency the bad guys can get log-in accreditation and added analytical abstracts from your business – they can accelerate you a affected phishing email that looks absolutely legit (e.g., the hackers will absorb some claimed advice about you that they calmly begin on amusing media) or accept you bang on an banal articulation that is absolutely adulterated with malware, or covertly install key-logging software on your computer that allows them to see what you type, and worse.

On the day in question, what Sean and Richard didn’t apperceive was that Microsoft Store aegis able Eric Leonard had “spoofed” their website; that is, he had bifold the armpit with the barring of one little letter in the URL that was ephemeral – quantsbakery.com became quantbakery.com.

Logging in to the spoofed armpit gave the “hacker” aggregate he bare to potentially accommodation the business. “I’m absolutely animated this is a affirmation and not a absolute thing,” Sean says in the video, afraid his head. 

Whether their owners know it or not, best baby businesses are abundantly accessible to a cyberhack and they accept a lot to lose: chump lists and records, amusing aegis and acclaim agenda numbers, bookish acreage and abundant more. With the hackers accepting anytime added sophisticated, the risks are greater than ever: Added than bisected of all cyber-attacks are now directed at baby businesses, according to a 2017 cybersecurity address by the Ponemon Institute.

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So what is a acute baby business buyer to do?

This agency that afterwards you login to a site, you accept either an email or a argument with a cipher (i.e., the additional authentication.) You access that cipher to get in. Cyber-criminals cannot alike that.

They charge to apperceive what a phishing betray is, how it works, what to attending for, and what your cybersecurity rules and protocols are (you accept some, right?)

Solid choices accommodate McAfee, Symantec, Bitdefender, and Trend Micro. The boilerplate amount is about $50 a year.

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Beyond Microsoft Store experts and those absorbed to other computer accouterments and software makers, added options accommodate hiring a architect able or application a third-party vendor.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you and your employees will accept becoming some appetizing treats. Hmm, I anticipate our bakery pals Sean and Richard can advice with that!

Steve Strauss, @Steve Strauss on Twitter, is a advocate specializing in baby business and entrepreneurship who has been autograph for USATODAY.com for 20 years. Email: [email protected] You can apprentice added about Steve at MrAllBiz.com.

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The angle and opinions bidding in this cavalcade are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

Copyright 2017 USATODAY.com

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