A misconception that most business owners have is that cyber-attacks are only limited to large corporations. However, small and emerging businesses carry the same level of risk for data breaches and other cyber-attacks. Cyber-criminals know a small business can have a large amount of money or customer information.
As a result, they know how lucrative it can be to attack a small business. Therefore, small businesses need to take cybersecurity concerns very seriously. According to Statista, there have been more than 16,000 incidents of cyber-attacks from November 2021 to October 2022.
Cyber-attacks have impacted multiple companies operating in various sectors. These stats indicate that data protection is a concern for businesses in almost every industry. In this article, we’ll be discussing cybersecurity concerns for emerging businesses and how they can deal with them.
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5 Threats Businesses Should Be Aware Of:
Having the right strategy is vital for businesses to ensure that they don’t end up with losses when it comes to cyber-attacks. For instance, companies should focus on reliable third-party solution providers such as DashLane, Graylog, and JFrog and that can help them deal with cyber threats.
The introduction of tools like DevSecOps combine security, operations, and development in a cycle that is synchronized and continuous; DevSecOps security tools are part of and play their role in the development process for the application right from the start. This way, it can decrease the number of resources and time that companies invest in cybersecurity.
But what are the top cybersecurity concerns for businesses today? And how can companies deal with them? Let’s delve deeper into the top 5 cyber security concerns.
1. Malware Attacks
Malware attacks are one of the major threats that small businesses are facing. This type of attack entails various cyber threats like viruses and Trojans. Usually, attackers will try to gain access to the business’s internal network or steal sensitive information through malicious code. In most cases, the attackers will penetrate through malicious code via infected devices, spam emails, or website downloads.
Small businesses might hire individuals that bring their laptops, mobiles, or other devices to work so it can cut costs. However, this will lead to a greater danger of potential malware attacks since personal devices have a greater threat from malicious attacks. As a result, small businesses might have to deal with cyber incidents that can lead to various damages, such as crippled devices. They would have to repair or replace those devices, which can be costly. Not just that, but attackers can also access sensitive data, which can put your employees and customers at risk.
How to Prevent Malware Attacks?
The optimal method of keeping a business safe from malware attacks is by placing strong technological defenses. The installation of Endpoint Protection solutions will keep all hardware and devices safe from malware codes. Additionally, these solutions will provide a central control panel that allows admins to handle devices and ensure user security is updated.
2. Weak Passwords
Another major threat small businesses have to deal with is weak passwords. In the wake of rapid digitization, most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) use various cloud-based services. These services require multiple user accounts that hold critical financial information or other sensitive data. So, if teams use weak passwords or the same passwords for various accounts, then hackers can easily access them. Most SMEs find themselves at risk because of weaker passwords by the employees. Since employees don’t fully understand how weak passwords can compromise overall security, they don’t prioritize this practice the way they should.
How to Keep Your Passwords Safe?
Making use of Business Password Management technologies is vital for businesses. These technologies will ensure that employees have stronger passwords. One of the best things about using password management platforms is that they will tell employees if the password isn’t strong.
Furthermore, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) technologies are also something that businesses should consider. Even if cyber-attackers do crack the passwords, they won’t be able to get through MFA. It can be as simple as sending a passcode to an email address or mobile device.
3. Phishing Attacks
Out of all the cyber-security threats, phishing continues to be the most common and damaging one for small businesses. This type of attack takes place when the criminal will show themselves as a trusted contact, and lure the user to:
- Check out a malicious link
- Install a malicious program or file
- Provide access to critical information (credentials or account details)
Phishing attacks have become more difficult to be identified in recent years. Attackers have come up with new tricks to show themselves as legitimate contacts. The thing that makes phishing attacks so dangerous is that these attacks are quite challenging to deal with; instead of attacking technological weakness, phishing attacks use social engineering to target individuals in an organization. Nevertheless, there are various ways to deal with phishing attacks.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?
First and foremost, using a robust email security gateway is vital. These gateways play a major role in helping businesses to stop phishing emails from getting into their employees’ inboxes. Furthermore, employees can also use these solutions to flag phishing emails. Doing so will enable admins to remove phishing emails from all inboxes. Besides having a robust email security gateway, small businesses can also train their employees and increase their awareness about such security issues.
Teams will have the capability to spot and report any such potential instances of phishing attacks. MFAs can also be a great way in helping organizations prevent phishing attacks, to begin with. With the help of MFA, businesses can have an additional layer of security that protects their employees from any phishing-related incidents.
Thousands of businesses become a victim of the ransomware cyber-attack, leading to substantial losses. There are more and more instances of these types of attacks happening since they offer greater profits for hackers. Ransomware entails locking the company’s crucial information through information so no one can access it. Next, the cybercriminals will demand the organization pay a ransom amount to retrieve back the data. As a result, businesses are left to choose from either one of the following options:
- Pay the ransom and incur huge losses
- Suffer data loss that can cripple their system ad reputation
Small and medium businesses are at a greater risk to suffer from this type of attack, which can cost them huge amounts of money. Cybercriminals and attackers know that SMEs will pay the ransom since they don’t have any data backup.
Most notably, ransomware attacks impact the healthcare sector significantly. By locking medical records and their schedules, the attackers can disrupt the entire operations of businesses in the healthcare industry. Consequently, businesses don’t have any other option but to pay the ransom and unlock their data quickly.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks?
There needs to be Endpoint Protection in position throughout all the systems within the business. Doing so will ensure that the ransomware attacks are futile and can’t encrypt any data of the business. Furthermore, businesses should also back up their data from time to time. Businesses can have a robust cloud backup solution to reduce the losses that they can suffer in the event of a data loss. A small business should carefully research the options and analyze the most suitable option for its business. Moreover, an organization can choose from a wide range of data backup methods.
Implementing data backup and recovery will allow keeping businesses safe in case of a ransomware attack. A business can easily have its backed-up data within reach, while not having to incur financial loss or losing productivity. Not just that, but data back-ups also play a major role in improving cyber-resilience.
5. Insider Threats
Last but not least, insider threats are also a major threat that small businesses have to stay alert about. Insider threats refer to the risk due to the activities of current or former employees, business associates, or vendors. These people might have access to sensitive information about the company and they can cause damage to a company because of greed or simply due to a lack of awareness. According to statistics, insider threats are the reason behind 60% of data breaches.
Insider threats have become a growing problem, putting business sustainability at stake. As more and more employees access multiple accounts, insider threats will become a major cyber-security threat for organizations.
How to Prevent Insider Threats?
The best way to prevent insider threats is through continuous learning and development. This means that small businesses should develop an environment of security awareness within the organization. In addition, advanced access control can be implemented, with certain teams having access to certain and limited amounts of information.
In a world where businesses continue to face the imminent threat of cyber threats, having a robust cybersecurity policy within an organization is vital. By staying updated with possible cyber-security concerns, businesses can ensure they keep their data safe. Organizations can take protective measures and enforce relevant policies. Most importantly, the right policies will keep businesses safe from any data losses or incurring significant financial losses.