5 Cyber Security Attacks Impacting Small Businesses
When you hear about cybercrime on the news, large enterprises usually get the most media attention. But sadly, most cyberattacks target small enterprises of less than 250 employees. And because small businesses have limited funds, damage from cyber security attacks can be incredibly detrimental.
What types of cyber security attacks are impacting small businesses today?
Malware is short for malicious software, and is most often used to crash computers and mobile devices, find personal information or identification, and commit fraud. These attacks are particularly damaging for small businesses because they can wear down devices, which requires expensive repairs or replacements. Viruses also fall under malware, which are harmful programs intended to spread from computer to computer and give cybercriminals access to your system.
Ransomware is when a cybercriminal encrypts company data so that it cannot be accessed or used. And in order for the company to get the data back, they must pay a ransom. Small businesses are especially at risk for these attacks because their data isn’t always backed up, and they’ll be more likely to pay the ransom to get things up and running again. By implementing data back-up and recovery, you’ll be able to quickly recover data without having to pay a ransom or lose productivity.
The most damaging and widespread attack are phishing attacks. In fact, phishing accounts for 90% of all breaches that organizations face! To put it simply, phishing attacks occur when an attacker pretends to be someone you trust. Attackers will use social engineering to target humans within a business, rather than targeting technological weaknesses. They’ll entice a user to click on a malicious link, which gives the hacker access to sensitive information. Phishing attacks are frustrating because hackers know how to disguise them well. And they almost always come in the form of an email. As humans, we often trust until we are given a reason not to, and that mindset does not serve well in this scenario. You should always be on high alert when dissecting emails.
Having weak passwords for any software you use is a gateway to cybercriminal activity. It’s easy to use the same password for everything because it can be hard to remember multiple passwords. But utilizing the same password on all platforms can lead to a domino effect, and put yourself at risk for more cyber criminal activity.
Insider threats are risks to an organization that were created by the actions of current employees, former employees, contractors, partners, etc. The scary part about these threats is that the hacker already has more company knowledge than an outside hacker would. Small businesses need to make sure they are training their employees on security awareness, and show them how to spot these attacks early on.
What steps are needed to prevent these five security threats?
While preventing cyber criminal activity is an in-depth process and is always changing, these basic tips will serve as a great head start.
Never click on unverified links.
Do not open untrusted email attachments.
Only download from sites that you trust.
Avoid giving out personal data.
Use mail server content scanning and filtering.
Don’t use unfamiliar USB’s.
Keep your software and operating systems updated.
Use a VPN when using public WiFi.
Backup your data!
Here are a few in-depth resources on what steps are needed to fight security threats.
Tips on how to prevent ransomware attacks: https://bit.ly/3dVXMMI
Small business cyber security breakdown: https://bit.ly/379AJvB
Cyberattacks and your small business: A Primer for Cybersecurity: https://bit.ly/3cHm3VG
If you’re worried about cyber security threats to your organization, Thinline Technologies is here to help! We provide help in areas like cyber security, cloud solutions, business continuity and more. Give us a call at (410) 453-9300 or visit our services page for more info.