Although large organizations are the targets of headline-grabbing attacks, cybercriminals do not favor just one industry. In reality, small businesses were the origin of some of the largest data breaches of the 21st century.
For example, in accordance with Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, small and medium enterprises were harmed by 61% of breaches. These figures demonstrate the necessity of a strong cyber security plan for all types of firms.
What Effect Does an Attack Have?
Your small business may be severely impacted by a cyberattack. In fact, 60% of small firms that are attacked and suffer a breach close their doors within six months. Even if the attack’s severity is lower, there are still many long-term effects that your company might endure, such as:
- Financial losses brought on by the theft of financial data
- Financial losses due to business disruption
- High expenditures to remove threats from your network
- Destruction of business reputation
Common Small Business Cyber Attacks
Best practices should be incorporated into your small business cyber security strategy, as preventative actions can only be so effective. Small businesses should be knowledgeable of the typical types of cyberattacks because they are always changing. Here’s a list of the most common cyberattacks.
Malicious software called viruses is designed to spread from PCs to other linked devices. To access your networks and inflict serious, occasionally irreparable problems, cybercriminals utilize viruses.
A specific kind of software called ransomware locks down a computer and prevents access to it unless a ransom payment is made. Typically, ransomware will encrypt data on a device and demand payment in exchange for a guarantee that the data will be restored. Ransomware typically spreads via phishing emails and takes advantage of unpatched software flaws.
Spyware is a type of malware intended to collect data from a target and communicate it without the victim’s knowledge or permission to a third party. While some varieties of spyware, like the advertising data gathered by social media platforms, are lawful, legal, and utilized for business objectives, malevolent spyware is routinely employed to steal data and transmit it to third parties.
Phishing is a type of hack that targets your systems with malware or collects sensitive information by using email or a rogue website. Phishing emails give the impression that they were sent by a reputable company or well-known person.
These emails frequently persuade recipients to click a link or open an email that contains harmful software. Avoid clicking on links from unidentified sources at all costs. Don’t merely click on something that appears suspicious from a reputable source; instead, question the source directly if it’s real.
How to Prevent Cyber Attacks
Small businesses may feel powerless to stop cyberattacks. Fortunately, you may take action to safeguard your business. Here’s a list to get started.
Train Your Staff
Employees’ mistakes can leave your company open to attack. According to research, internal employees who intentionally or negligently enable hackers access to your networks account for 43% of data loss.
Employee-initiated attacks could occur in a variety of circumstances. These can include a worker misplacing a company tablet or divulging login information. They may also involve doing things like opening phishing emails that spread malware around the network. Educate staff members about fundamental internet usage recommended practices such as:
- Detection of phishing emails
- Responsible use of the internet
- Preventing dubious downloads
- Enabling authentication (Strong passwords, multi-factor authentication)
- Protecting confidential customer and vendor information
Update All Software and Use Antivirus Software
Ensure that antivirus software is installed on every computer in your company and that it is updated often. Such software is offered by a range of different suppliers online. To address security flaws and enhance functionality, all software providers routinely release patches and updates for their products. All software should be set up to automatically install updates. To secure your entire infrastructure, it is essential to update operating systems, web browsers, and other apps in addition to antivirus software.
Maintaining and Managing Accounts for Cloud Service Providers
If your business has a hybrid organizational structure, you should think about employing a CSP to host your information, apps, and collaborative services. The processing of data can be made more secure through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers for email and office productivity.
Do Regular File Backups
Does your business maintain file backups? In the event of a cyberattack, data may be lost or compromised. Could your company still function if it were to occur? Most organizations couldn’t operate with the amount of data that could be stored on laptops and mobile devices.
Use a backup program that copies your files to storage automatically to help. You can use your backups to restore all of your files in the event of an attack. To avoid having to remember to back up your data, use an application that lets you plan or automate the operation. If your system is attacked by ransomware, keep copies of backup files offline so they won’t become compromised.