According to CloudFare, cyberattacks are up by over a third, so there’s no time for your business to be complacent about online security and protecting your business from phishing and hacking.
Small Business Complacency
Why would a hacker be interested in our small business when there is plenty of big fish to go after?
Complacency with online security is risky for all businesses. Cybercriminals see SMEs as the weakest link and are more comfortable with hacking as they typically spend less on protecting their online assets.
Many small business owners have the attitude “it won’t happen to us,” which is why they are the perfect target. Evidence suggests that smaller sites are a major “priority” for hackers.
Just take a look at the following data points as curated by Fundera:
- 43 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses.
- 60 percent of small businesses that experience a cyber attack go out of business within six months.
- There was a 424 percent increase in small business cyber breaches last year.
- Just 14 percent of small businesses rate their ability to thwart cyber attacks as “highly effective.”
- 47 percent of small business owners say they have no understanding of how to adequately protect themselves against cyberattacks.
All SMEs need to heed statistics showing a pattern of vulnerability among smaller sites. Investing in cybersecurity measures may not rule out an attack. Still, it will alert the business to attempts and up the investment in more measures to keep the hackers away from core systems.
5 Cyber Attack Prevention Tips
If you want to prevent a cyber assault, you have to get serious about strengthening your cybersecurity foundation. Here are a few helpful suggestions:
Conduct an IT Security Assessment
Don’t go investing in new security products and solutions before first conducting an IT security assessment. This assessment will evaluate five critical components of your IT ecosystem:
A network security assessment should look at your network connection and overall IT network. Furthermore, it’s imperative that your emails, messaging, and communications are managed through secure and private networking channels.
Take inventory of your desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, servers, routers, etc. Think about physical security as well as network security. How safe are they?
Make a list of your software, which data can be accessed on this software, and what native protections are in place.
How do you collect and store data?
What security features does your cloud service provider offer?
Are you investing in additional security features?
Finally, thoroughly review all company policies and processes to determine how they impact your security and defense.
By clarifying these five aspects of your IT ecosystem, you’ll better understand where your weaknesses are and what needs help.
Invest in Proper Training
Your company’s cybersecurity is only as strong as your weakest link. And that weakest link is always going to be an employee. Invest in proper training and make sure you’re teaching all employees at every level of the company the importance of using adequate password hygiene and innovative BYOD principles.
Be Strict With Access and Permissions
Insider attacks may be a more significant threat than external threats. Whether purposeful or unintentional, your employees can compromise your business profoundly.
Nobody within your company should be given access to software, accounts, or data they don’t need. In other words, people should only have access and permission to the information they need to perform their job duties. If someone needs access to a solo project or assignment, grant it temporarily and reset the account afterward.
Strengthen Password Policies
Hackers love to compromise accounts and gain access to sensitive data through proper old-fashioned password manipulation. Protect your business by establishing more robust password policies. These policies should address password complexity, password updates, and rules around sharing and saving account login information.
Patch Operating Systems Regularly
Patches and software updates are annoying, but they exist for a reason. Never, under any circumstances, should you ignore an update. Doing so leaves you vulnerable to outdated versions that hackers may already have access to.
Creating A Safer Future
There’s no perfect solution – for our USA readers, see this infographic on ways to prevent a cyberattack or other cybercrime. The best sites can play catch-up with known solutions and patch vulnerabilities when they’re found.
The businesses who take a proactive stance, with online security and data protection are no longer an easy target, and their customers are safe to shop online.