Although news headlines tend to focus on cyberattacks against large corporations, small businesses are equally in danger. In fact, about 43% of cyberattacks in 2020 were against small businesses, according to Fundera. That’s why small business network security should always be taken seriously. The best way to strengthen your security posture is to understand the risks your business faces.
From Trojan horses to spyware, there’s no shortage of cyber threats out there. Some threats are more common than others, and the risks you need to know about aren’t exactly the same as your larger competitors. Understanding the unique threats to your company makes it easier to implement prevention and mitigation measures to keep your network safe.
Here are the top risks threatening data security for small businesses:
Phishing is a type of social engineering tactic where the attacker pretends to be a trusted contact. Their goal is to convince you into performing an action that exposes your network to malware or gets you to reveal sensitive information. If disguised well, it can be difficult to tell whether a message is a scam or legitimate.
This type of attack is especially dangerous as it targets humans rather than technological weaknesses. Unfortunately, phishing has only gotten worse since the beginning of the pandemic. However, investing in cyber security training for small businesses and setting inbox filters both help you avoid phishing scams.
Malware, short for malicious software, is not a single threat. It refers to a variety of threats, like adware and rootkits. It usually comes from malicious website downloads, phishing scams, or connecting with infected devices.
Malware hurts small businesses by spreading to uninfected devices within your network and making them practically unusable. You can prevent malware attacks with cybersecurity solutions like network monitoring or vulnerability assessments.
One form of malware we’re seeing more frequently these days is ransomware. True to its name, ransomware essentially kidnaps your files, applications, or programs and demands a ransom be paid to regain access. This “kidnapping” is actually encryption that makes your data unreadable until it’s unencrypted.
Ransomware is one of the biggest trends in cybercrime right now. A number of criminal organizations that specialize in cybercrime have been deploying ransomware to companies around the world. Detection plays a crucial role in ransomware prevention, as well as network monitoring, email scanning, and data backup.
Most threats come from outside of your company, but not all of them. In some cases, the people within your company can be the cause of the danger. When current employees, former employees, contributors, or associates put your company at risk, they’re known as insider threats. This is a growing problem among many employers in recent years.
Unlike most other cyber risks, insider threats have immediate, unrestricted access to your company’s data. The motive for an insider threat ranges anywhere from disdain for the company to simple ignorance. You can stifle the potential for insider threats by limiting the number of people with full permissions to your network.
A common theme among many small organizations is using weak passwords or reusing old passwords. While it may not seem all that important on the surface, you use a lot of different accounts that require passwords. If a hacker somehow figured out what your passwords are, it could be devastating to your business.
Passwords can be cracked with simple brute force tactics, and the weaker they are, the easier they are to crack. That’s why it’s recommended you create complex passwords that can’t be figured out easily. It also helps to use multi-factor authentication as it requires the user to prove they are who they say they are.
Netprotechs specializes in preventing cyberattacks on small businesses. We offer a robust collection of cybersecurity services specifically designed to identify and resolve any suspicious activity on your network. As your partner, we customize these solutions to fit the unique needs of your company.
If you’d like to learn more about small business cybersecurity risks, contact us today.
Whether you are adding a location to your business network or you need to augment your in-house team with 24×7 monitoring, Netprotechs matches the right solutions to your organization’s goals.