More attention has been paid to cybersecurity efforts in recent years. From the Cybersecurity Act of 2021 to greater investments in technology and innovation, we’re finding ways to invest in online safety. While you may think that ransomware only hits big organizations with large pockets and data wipers are better used against massive databases, small businesses are at just as big of a risk of experiencing a cyberattack as any large company.
Read on to find out what risks the modern cyber threat landscape currently poses against small businesses like yours.
Why Small Business?
While small businesses have, on average, less funds and employees than larger organizations, that doesn’t make them any less of an appealing target for cybercriminals. The resources available to build up their cybersecurity posture are fewer too, which means that small businesses tend not to have defenses that are as strong or efficient as one built by a big corporation. Hence they become an appealing target to bad actors.
Nearly half of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses, with particular risk to the healthcare and banking industries. They store massive amounts of PII (personally identifying information) and financial information. On average, cyberattacks on small businesses cause around $25K in damages but can reach much higher numbers if not dealt with quickly. Then after the attack, there’s also the cost of repairing business back to its previous bustle – and that’s not even accounting for the lost trust, downtime and legal fees that may come with it.
All of it adds up to more than you want to handle. The more aware you are of what exactly is threatening your company, the better you can build up its defenses against them.
The Threats They Face
Phishing scams and social engineering tactics are very common in cyberattacks against small businesses. Including…
- Ransomware and double extortion
- Stolen credentials left out in plain sight
- Data breaches caused by weak passwords
- Malware sent through suspicious email links and files
- Unencrypted databases
Understaffed IT departments, lack of an action plan and insufficient cybersecurity budget can all contribute to a business being under-prepared. They increase your risk factor of being a cybercriminal’s target and how much damage they can do once they successfully breach the network.
How to Protect Your Data
Research technological solutions that allow you to update your cybersecurity posture in a way that makes sense for your budget and your business’s needs.
- Hire a CSO or CISO
- Perform updates and upgrades whenever they’re available
- Use strong antivirus software and firewalls
- Encrypt sensitive data and communications
- Regularly back up your data (and perform checks to ensure your storage is working correctly)
- Buy cyber liability insurance to help pay for damages after an attack
- Create a security plan of action and do proper training, so everyone in the organization knows what to do in the event of an attack
Cybercriminals can, and will, target people at all levels of an organization to compromise their credentials, hack their accounts, and steal data off of their computers and work networks. Social engineering tactics, password spraying and other duplicitous actions can trick anybody, so everybody has to be prepared.
It’s important to give proper cybersecurity training so every level of the organization knows what to recognize and how to react in the event of a breach.
If trends continue, cyber threats will not only evolve but proliferate as technology advances. Bad actors are always looking for a sneakier way to steal your data, whether you’re in a massive corporation or a local business in a small town. Every company, no matter their size, need to take steps to tighten their cybersecurity posture as 2022 advances.
As more laws and regulations come out to combat new online threats, pay attention to upgrades that would make your business more secure. No matter the size of your company, there are comprehensive cybersecurity solutions out there for you.