You’re working late in your Rochester office on All Hallows’ Eve. There’s a full moon outside and all your workers have left to celebrate with their families.
While going over important files, you discover that the computer overheats and makes strange clicking noises. You are suddenly bombarded with error messages and you watch in horror as your files disappear one by one.
Before you can do anything, your monitor flickers. The Blue Screen of Death appears and your computer crashes. As you slowly realize that you’ve lost many critical files, all you can do is to let out a bloodcurdling scream that echoes through the night!
No, this is not a scene from a Stephen King novel, but it’s something that many companies have experienced without warning. To show you what we mean, here’s a list of terrifying things that can affect small businesses on Halloween (or any day for that matter):
1. Hard disk drive (HDD) failure
Don’t be so hard on your hard drive since it’s doing a lot of work. The HDD is an electromechanical data storage device that uses magnetism to store vast amounts of information on your computer. Digital photos, music, and other files are kept in large, shiny plates of magnetic material that rotate up to 10,000 times per minute.
Unfortunately, this engineering wonder has drawbacks. Excessive heat, water, static electricity, power surges, or the impact from dropping your laptop can damage your hard drive. Of 108,461 drives tested, cloud storage provider Blackblaze reported that 474 had failed over time. It singled out Seagate for having a whopping 94% (446 models) failure rate with one model failing 247 times.
This refers to malicious software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer. Types of malware include viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware, among others. They can delete or corrupt files, let other malware in, or spy on you. Some of them can lock your computer and files and erase everything unless you pay a ransom.
These scary intruders are everywhere. TechJury says that there are 903 million malware at present and 11.2 million new ones were created in April 2019 alone. It adds that malware had infected 75% of the healthcare industry and the average cost of a malware attack is $2.4 million.
3. Data breaches
In a data breach, sensitive, confidential, or protected data is accessed by unauthorized persons. Stolen data may include personal information, trade secrets, or intellectual property. IT Web reports that social media data breaches accounted for 56% of data breaches in the first half of 2018.
Data breaches can cripple any business. IBM says that the average cost of one is $3.86 million, while a lost or stolen record costs about $148. Small companies appear to be the primary target since 61% of data breach victims were those with less than a thousand employees, according to Verizon. What’s distressing is that it normally takes organizations an average of 196 days to detect data breaches.
No, we’re not referring to the canned cooked pork product. This is irrelevant or unsolicited bulk mail that is sent to a lot of people. Spam is a common method of getting information from those who reply to the messages, advertisements, and other links found in the questionable emails they receive.
While it is mostly annoying and time-consuming, spam can be dangerous if it attempts to steal personal information like bank details or credit card numbers from unsuspecting victims. TechJury says 14.5 billion emails sent daily worldwide are spam. Kaspersky adds that most of it comes from China.
Stay safe during Halloween and the rest of the year with Capstone IT’s right-fit technology. We protect small businesses in the Rochester and Buffalo areas with our managed IT services. Get in touch with us today to learn more!