Cybersecurity threats can be just as dangerous for small businesses as they are for large corporations. Small businesses often believe that security is possible through obscurity. This is a common misconception.
Attackers are automating more attacks and it is easier for them to attack hundreds or even thousands of small businesses simultaneously. Small businesses are often less secure, have a lower awareness of potential threats, and have less resources and time to invest in cybersecurity. Small businesses are often easier targets for hackers than larger organizations.
They are also lucrative targets. Even small businesses can manage large amounts of money or have access huge amounts of customer information that they must protect. Hackers can also use small businesses to target larger companies.
A cyber-attack can be devastating for small businesses. According to a recent study, businesses with fewer than 500 employees are at risk of losing $2.5 million each attack. Small businesses can lose this much money to cyber-attacks.
Small businesses must be aware of these threats and know how to prevent them.
Top five cybersecurity threats that businesses face and how organizations can defend themselves against them.
1) Phishing attacks
Phishing attacks are the biggest and most serious threat to small businesses. They account for 90% of breaches in organizations, have grown by 65% over the past year, and are responsible for more than $12 billion in losses. Phishing is when an attacker pretends that they are a trusted contact and encourages users to click a malicious URL, download a malicious program, or gain access to confidential information or credentials.
In recent years, phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. Attackers are convincingly posing as legitimate business contacts. Business Email Compromise has seen a rise in sophistication. This involves bad actors using phishing campaigns to steal passwords to business email accounts from high-ranking executives and using these accounts to fraudulently ask for payments from employees.
Phishing attacks are very difficult to stop. They employ social engineering to target people within a company, not technological weaknesses. There are technological defenses against phishing attacks.
A strong Email Security Gateway such as a firewall can stop phishing emails reaching employees’ inboxes. For your business to be protected from phishing attacks, you will also need Post-Delivery Security. These solutions allow users and admins to report phishing email, and then administrators can delete them from all user mailboxes.
Security Awareness Training is the final layer of security that protects emails from phishing attacks. These solutions can be used to protect your employees. They can be trained to recognize phishing attacks, and then reported them.
2) Malware Attacks
Small businesses are also at risk from malware. It includes trojans, viruses, and other cyber threats. Malicious code is code hackers use to access networks and steal or destroy computer data. Malware is usually spread via malicious website downloads, spam email attachments or by connecting to infected devices or machines.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to these attacks, as they can cause devices to be disabled. This requires costly repairs or replacements. These attacks can also open up a way for attackers to gain access to data, which could put employees and customers at risk. Because it saves time and costs, small businesses are more inclined to hire employees who use their own devices to work. However, this increases the risk of a malware attack as personal devices are more susceptible to malicious downloads.
Strong technological defenses can help businesses prevent malware attacks. Endpoint Protection provides protection against malware downloads, and admins have a central control panel that allows them to manage all devices and make sure security is maintained. Web Security is important as it prevents users from downloading malicious software and visiting malicious websites.
Expert Insights allows you to read user reviews about the best Endpoint Protection and Web Security vendors.
Ransomware is a cyber-attack that affects thousands of businesses each year. Ransomware has become more popular in recent years, since they are one the most lucrative types of cyber-attacks. Ransomware encrypts company data so it can’t be accessed or used. The ransom is then paid by the company to unlock the data. Businesses are faced with two options: pay ransom or risk losing large amounts of money and/or crippling their services due to data loss.
These types of attacks are particularly dangerous for small businesses. With an average ransom demand for $116,000., 71% of ransomware attacks on small businesses occurred in 2020. Smaller businesses are more likely to pay ransom because their data is not always backed up. They need to get back to normal as soon as possible. This type of attack is especially damaging to the healthcare sector, which can lock patient records and appointment times, leading to businesses having to close down if a ransom is not paid.
A cloud backup solution should be considered by businesses. These solutions protect company data in the cloud and help to prevent data loss. There are many options for data backup available, so it is important to find the best one for your company.
Implementing data backup and recovery means that organizations can recover their data quickly without the need to pay ransoms or lose productivity in the event of ransomware attacks. This is a significant step in improving cyber-resilience.
4) Weak Passwords
Small businesses are also at risk from employees who use weak passwords or can be easily guess. Many small businesses use several cloud-based services that require different accounts. These services can often contain financial and sensitive information. This data can be compromised if passwords are easily guessable or used for multiple accounts.
Because employees use weak passwords, small businesses are more at risk of being compromised. According to a recent study, 19% of enterprise professionals share passwords between accounts and use passwords that are easily guessable.
Business Password Management can be used to ensure employees use strong passwords. These platforms allow employees to manage all of their passwords, which can be difficult to crack. Multi-Factor authentication technologies should be considered by businesses. Multi-Factor authentication technologies allow users to access business accounts with more than a password. Multiple verification steps are required, including a mobile passcode. Even if an attacker correctly guesses a password, these security controls prevent them from accessing company accounts.
5) Insider Threats
The insider threat is the last major threat to small businesses. Insider threats are risks to small businesses that are caused by employees, former employees or business contractors. These actors have access to critical information about your company and can cause harm through greed, malice, ignorance, or carelessness. According to a 2017 Verizon report, 25% of 2017 breaches were caused by insider threats.
This is a growing problem that can pose a risk to customers and employees, and cause financial loss for the company. Insider threats in small businesses are increasing as more employees have access multiple accounts that contain more data. Research shows that 62% have access to accounts they don’t really need.
Small businesses must have strong security awareness in order to prevent insider threats. This will prevent insider threats from being caused by ignorance and allow employees to recognize when an attacker is trying to compromise company data.
Small businesses are facing a variety of threats at the moment. Businesses can protect themselves against these threats by having a complete set of security tools. Security Awareness Training is also a great way to make sure that employees are well-informed about security threats and how they can be avoided.
Adtek Advanced Technologies has the tools and experts to keep you small business safe from cyber attacks. Contact us today for s complete analysis of your vulnerability.