Though businesses can significantly benefit from advancements in technology, they also face a lot of risks in taking advantage of those. It’s because hackers use modern technology as well to steal vital information and intellectual properties from individuals and groups alike.
While you might think that your business is too small to be targeted by hackers, that’s not necessarily the case. Just like big businesses, small businesses are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
Hackers target small businesses because they know that such establishments likely have no IT experts or adequate knowledge to protect themselves effectively.
However, educating yourself and your employees about some of the common cybersecurity threats your business may face can be of great help in the long run. Understanding those issues will help you take the necessary measures to prevent business account takeover and other problems caused by cybercriminals.
In this article, you’ll learn about the key security threats you might encounter at some point and how you can protect your business from online thieves looking to steal your business data and other important information.
Phishing is one of the most common cybersecurity threats small businesses have to deal with nowadays. This involves a scammer pretending to be a reputable source—for instance, a known bank—and using a seemingly legitimate email address to send emails containing a malicious link.
When you click on that link, it directs you to a particular website that fetches your business details. The main aim of phishing attackers is to get your bank details and then defraud you.
You can avoid phishing attacks by having a strong email security gateway (SEG) in place. This will prevent phishing emails from reaching your email address.
Another effective way to steer clear of this type of attack is to train and equip your staff with skills that can help them identify phishing email messages.
‘Malware’ is short for ‘malicious software,’ and it’s another major challenge facing many small businesses across the world. With malware, attackers create computer programs that infect businesses’ computing systems with viruses, worms, rootkits, trojans, and spyware.
All these can damage your system by making certain parts of it unusable.
Also, attackers can use malware to harvest details like usernames and passwords. This allows them to gain access to your networks. Once they’ve infiltrated your system, they can destroy or steal sensitive data from your computers.
You can avoid this type of cybersecurity attack by having strong technological defense mechanisms and utilizing robust end-user protection solutions. In addition, you can advise your employees not to download files and attachments from suspicious websites.
In the modern business world, numerous small businesses report ransomware attacks every day. Those have to do with hackers encrypting data or locking it to prevent owners from accessing it. They then demand payment (ransom) in exchange for unlocking said data.
This poses a great danger to small businesses, especially those that don’t have backups. And most small businesses that fall victim to ransomware don’t have enough money to pay the requested ransom, so they end up losing vital data to hackers.
To prevent attackers from encrypting your data, you should turn to tactics that can help your employees quickly detect any hacking activities. In addition, you need to back up your data regularly so you can retrieve it even if cybercriminals target your business.
Though technology has become so much more advanced, employees are only human, and many of them are prone to using weak passwords. Also, they use similar passwords or even the exact same one across different business platforms. This makes it easier for attackers to guess those passwords.
That problem can be solved by opting for long, unique passwords that are hard to figure out. It’s also a must to have different passwords across various applications, and they should be changed on a regular basis.
Insider threat is another major security issue for small businesses. It may be caused by current employees, former employees, and other stakeholders who understand all of your business’ operations.
Such people can access your business data and cause damage either unintentionally due to their lack of expertise or deliberately through malicious actions.
One way to deal with insider threats is by deactivating or deleting all former employees’ accounts from your system. This ensures that those individuals can’t access your network without your knowledge.
Another method to prevent insider threat problems is by implementing the principle of least privilege.
With this, ordinary employees are only authorized to perform specific tasks instead of having unlimited access to all the data and processes in the company. This way, staff members don’t end up damaging the system out of ignorance.
Now you know there are several security threats that can plague small businesses. But the good news is that with the right tools and information, you can avoid them without a problem.
Doing so would protect your business from the costly damage that cybercriminals can cause and go a long way in helping your establishment stay ahead of the competition.