SBC News

How does Cybercrime Affect Rural Small Businesses? 

It may seem far-fetched to think that your small business could be targeted by cybercriminals or fall prey to ransomware, phishing, spoofing, or other attacks. These days, unfortunately, anyone with an online presence is at real financial risk due to business disruption, privacy breaches, data loss, and reputation damage from these evolving threats. 

The first step to a good cybersecurity plan for your small business is becoming aware of the ways that you may be vulnerable. To avoid the financial losses and the immense stress that often accompany these scenarios, let’s take a look at some of the most common cybersecurity questions rural businesses owners are wondering about.  

I’ve heard of computer viruses, and I’ve been warned not to click unfamiliar links. Is keeping my Antivirus software up to date enough to protect my business? 

The short answer is, unfortunately, “No”. 

Taking a proactive approach to security is a multi-pronged strategy. Everyone in your organization has some responsibility for protecting the company’s resources. You build trust among your business associates, customers, and other people who use your computers and connect to your company’s systems (e.g. with mobile devices, home computers for remote work) by providing leadership and clarity on how you intend to prevent, and when necessary, mitigate, losses. 

It is important to stay up-to-date with improved versions of all software, including patches designed by the developers in response to detected vulnerabilities, as part of maintaining the overall health of your computer environment

We understand you’re working hard to be the best at what you do, and your time and energy are valuable. Most people aren’t specialists in this area, and there’s a lot to know. Let the professionals at Stoney Beach Computers provide regularly-scheduled updates and system checks to take the “guess work” out of keeping up with the available security protocols. 

What are the most common cyber threats faced by rural enterprises and employees? 

Small Businesses in Canada face a range of common cyber threats that can have significant implications for their operations and data security. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most prevalent cyber threats that rural business owners should be aware of:

Phishing Attacks

Phishing emails are a widespread threat where cybercriminals impersonate legitimate entities to deceive employees into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Rural businesses are not immune to these attacks,  and need to educate their workforce about identifying and avoiding phishing attempts. 

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a significant threat where attackers encrypt a business's data and demand payment for its release. By locking companies out of their accounts, interrupting sales processing, communications, and other critical business transactions, they can put extreme pressure on business owners. 

Rural businesses, often with limited IT resources, can be vulnerable to such attacks. In fact, experts believe that small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) have become the focus of cyber criminals because these businesses are less prepared to prevent and respond to attacks. As a result, ransomware attacks can disproportionately impact SMEs. 

Additionally, small business owners may simply not have enough liquidity to afford to pay the ransom, and as they are unable to continue running their business while their systems are being held hostage, the financial consequences can be dire. 

Regular data backups and cybersecurity awareness are crucial defenses. Ask Oliver about how Stoney Beach Computers engages the latest technology to thwart ransomware attacks.  

Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Spoofing

BEC attacks involve cybercriminals impersonating company executives or vendors to trick employees into making fraudulent payments or divulging sensitive information. 

Spoofing can also mean someone impersonating your company makes use of this disguise to gain access to systems or data that would otherwise be kept private. It can have a very damaging, and lasting, effect on your reputation. 

What do cybercriminals get out of performing these attacks? 

If your business conducts any online transactions (sales, for example), or keeps customer records containing personal information on file, malicious actors can steal this sensitive data and sell it for a profit to scammers, identify thieves, and other fraud-perpetrators. They may offer proprietary information or financial data to competitors, or threaten to release or make public this private data unless they receive payment. 

What is my role in defending my customers and business partners against cybersecurity threats?  

Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority - Don’t be the Weakest Link

Supply Chain Attacks Target Vulnerable Partners

Rural businesses that rely on suppliers or partners can be exposed to cyber threats through their supply chain. Not only is this a risk to your own business, but cybercriminals might identify your unsecured system as a way to gain access to their main target.

As part of a supply chain, any downtime or productivity loss you might experience as a result of an attack or other adverse event can cause financial damage, costing money in lost sales and harming your reputation with other vendors and lenders. 

Your Home Office as a Site of Intrusion

With an increasing number of rural employees working remotely, businesses face challenges in securing remote connections, personal devices, and sensitive data outside the corporate network. If you are a remote worker, or have devices on your network that regularly connect to shared or public wi-fi, make sure to discuss managing risk with your employer/employees.

Where can I learn more about how to develop and implement good cybersecurity practices to protect my business?  

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security offers information and guidance documents to the public, and is an access point for recent news relating to evolving cybersecurity threats and for reporting incidents. 

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) provides information on various types of fraud, including cyber fraud, targeting businesses in Canada.

What Do We Recommend? Click here to find out what Stoney Beach Computers has implemented to help protect local businesses.

Stoney Beach Computers Is Helping Companies in Nova Scotia with affordable and effective solutions tailored to their unique needs. 

Grow your Business, with Confidence

Small Businesses in Canada serve diverse communities and often interact with their customers, and employees, remotely. As you improve your online presence, increasingly doing business using web-based tools and services, you are likely to find yourself with more to protect. 

Lessen Your Risk, Enjoy More Reward

As you gain financial and social capital, it is only logical that your investment in the security of your systems reflects this growth. Providing goods and services to a longer list of customers, and securing bigger and more lucrative contracts, comes with the responsibility of protecting their associated data. 

Being able to trust that your system is resilient against malicious acts and other risks to operational continuity will give you the confidence to expand your reach and safeguard your good reputation with important business contacts.   

We’re here to help you identify and address any concerns you may have about getting the support and tools needed to secure your own data and protect connected systems. Contact Us to learn about available and affordable options to manage this important piece of your company’s infrastructure. 

Connect with Stoney Beach Computers by phone, email, or on social media. We’re happy to serve clients in person at our office in Annapolis Royal. Located in Bridgetown, Clare, Digby, the French Shore, Middleton, or elsewhere in Annapolis County, Western Nova Scotia or throughout rural Nova Scotia? We offer good rates for onsite calls, and many of our services are now available remotely. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out how you can start protecting your business ASAP! 

Top Reasons to Call Stoney Beach Computers Today - Don’t Stress, We Can Help! 

Today, we’re talking about a few of the top reasons people call us for help with their computers and systems. Whether you use a desktop PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone, printer, or other device for personal or business purposes, you really just want them to work. 

Sometimes, it seems they have a mind of their own, and suddenly stop acting the way you’re used to. In other cases, it’s pretty clear something has happened that feels “Un-undoable”. Either way, don’t panic! After more than ten years in business, we’ve pretty much seen it all. 

“Oh no! I think I broke my computer!”

Take comfort: usually, all is not lost. What can be saved, fixed, or recovered often has much to do with how your systems were set up before the incident

Whether you think you’ve accidentally invited a virus, trojan horse, or other malicious program into your system, or pressed “OK” to install or update software that was previously working properly, you might be getting the urge to shout “Go back! Cancel!” Rather than play the blame game, call SBC to ask about the next steps you need to take to limit any damage or return your system to a familiar state.


Damaged hardware doesn’t always have to end in heartbreak. The first thing to do is not make it any worse. Power down and avoid plugging in or turning on electronics that may be wet, bent, or have loose parts inside. Be careful not to cut yourself on cracked glass on screens. Contact us from a safe place and we’ll coach you through the options to save what you can, and get the fix or replacement for what you can’t.

“Why do they make it so complicated?”

Whoever ‘they’ are in this scenario, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed or frustrated when it comes to technology. Unfortunately, your user experience isn’t always the top priority for web developers, equipment designers, and manufacturers.

When you want to add a new piece of hardware into an existing set-up, and it just won’t listen when you ask it nicely to connect, don’t waste any further time and energy. Wireless networks, Bluetooth devices, and tangles of cords and cables are no match for our patient and knowledgeable tech support team.

Although some essential and local services (like us!) still provide this level of one-to-one care, an increasing proportion of personal communication and business transactions are becoming difficult to access without using the web. Many changes in response to COVID-19 are now permanently affecting the ways we relate with one another. Whether you’re trying to connect with family and friends, improve your availability to customers and clients, or take advantage of internet-based services, we offer tutorials and guidance to take you from stressful to successful.

These include:

“I’m a proactive person - How can I prevent problems before they happen?

You should have confidence and feel at ease using the tools available to you. 

At Stoney Beach Computers, we are always happy to help people when it comes to selecting, installing, and maintaining their systems in prime working order. A single consultation might be all you need to get started on the right foot. If not, investing a little in an ongoing service subscription could save you a lot of time and money in the long term. 

We offer very reasonable rates on standard and customizable packages for individuals and businesses, including technical support calls, software and hardware maintenance, onsite and remote repairs, and BCDR (Business Continuity and Data Recovery) solutions

Make Stoney Beach Computers your first call for all your computer repair and tech support needs. 

Located in Annapolis Royal, we’re also happy to serve customers by appointment in Bridgetown, Digby, Middleton, Lawrencetown, the French Shore, the Annapolis Valley, and beyond! Talk to us about available options for remote service and repair. 

Know someone new to the area, starting a business, or frequently asking for your help when it comes to technology? Why not refer them to us? 

Connect with Stoney Beach Computers by phone, email, or on social media Facebook