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Top 7 Cyber Security Threats That Small Businesses Face

The small business is the backbone of the economy. It is a large and growing sector with a lot of potential for growth. However, this sector is also vulnerable to cyber-attacks which can lead to significant losses.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common cybersecurity threats faced by small businesses and what you can do about them.

As if your business didn’t have to worry about the global economic downturn, cyberattacks have started looming as well. And don’t you dare think that those giant organizations are the only victim of cyberattacks. A report says that 40% of all cyberattacks are directed toward small businesses.

If a cybersecurity infrastructure was not on your list, it’s time to revise your list. Of course, it’s a massive expense, but it can save significant money down the line. Before investing in this infrastructure, it makes sense to know what type of cyber threats are you up against. These are 7 common threats to watch out for:

1: Ransomware

Ransomware often is a program that publishes private data or harms your business information unless you offer a reward. It’s one of the most common malware breaches of all.

Paying a ransom to return to normal may be an immediate solution, but if you are breached once, you can be breached again. Such ransomware incidents can be avoided by installing antivirus. But an antivirus suite that ISPs offer with the Gigablast Internet 1Gbps plan is not enough here. You must also install a firewall on all devices, and keep the OS updated.

2: Phishing

Amidst the global lockdown, phishing is widely spread across the country. In case you don’t know what phishing is, it’s a way to gain sensitive information by impersonating a highly influential user.

The only way to protect your organization against phishing is to secure all your internal communication and verify each financial request before processing. Email encryption and vigilant user management can also reduce phishing cases.

3: DoS Attack

A denial of Service attack occurs when malicious actors direct a high volume of traffic and server requests at your website. The purpose is to halt business operations. Small businesses are an easy target of DoS attacks.

The attack could be initiated by your competitor or new cybercriminals, just bringing down a website for fun. In order to prevent this attack, boost your server’s capacity.

4: SQL Injection

SQL injection is one of the least talked about threats. It’s more sophisticated than others mentioned on this list. The hacker inserts code from the data based on SQL language into your site. The goal of this attack is to steal confidential data such as intellectual property, trade secrets, customer information, and more.

You can’t prevent SQL injection on your own. It’s something you would have to leave for the cybersecurity experts.

5: Inside Job

Never underestimate the power of a frustrated employee. While you are too busy protecting your organization from external cyber threats, a significant threat could be within your team. Someone who knows where the data lies can expose it very conveniently.

Don’t panic; there’s a solution to this problem as well. First off, listen to the woes of your employees. It’s not to make them angry. Second of all, never offer complete control of data to your employees.

Plan out employee privileges based on their job role. In case an employee from a different department needs access to sensitive data to complete a task, grant them access very carefully. Once their job is complete, revoke the privileges.

6: Weak Passwords

Weak passwords to this date are also among the top cyber threats. If passwords are easy to guess, this could compromise confidential data.

Employees in small organizations are mostly unaware of the damage weak passwords can cause. Use password management technologies to manage passwords as well as create strong passwords that cannot be cracked easily. Consider implementing multi-factor technologies to add another layer of security to the accounts in use. No unauthorized user will be able to access accounts with multi-factor authentication.

7: Malware Attacks

Malware attacks include a variety of cybersecurity threats starting from viruses to Trojans. The attempt of the hacker is to steal data, gain access to the network, or destroy to data on a PC. This malware enters a system from a malicious web download, spam emails, or by connecting to an infected device.

These attacks are damaging to small businesses. First off, it can give the attackers back door access to sensitive data. Secondly, it can destroy data. If there’s no backup maintained, this could turn out to be a considerable loss.

Summing Up

Start planning and implementing a cyber-secure infrastructure for your business today, or you might regret it later. Create cybersecurity best practices in your organization and launch an awareness campaign. Advise your employees not to share passwords like they won’t ever share their Cox bill pay credentials. Talk to a cybersecurity expert as soon as possible to boost security.

Marie Hynes
Marie Hynes
Hey! I'm Marie Hynes and I'm a California-based Freelance writer who covers health and wellness for HuffPost, PBS, Girlboss, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.
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