The internet has allowed small businesses to thrive and reach new audiences like never before. However, with these opportunities, has come a new set of challenges. Small businesses are arguably the most at risk when it comes to cyber threats and it’s vitally important that business owners protect themselves and their businesses from falling victim.
Why do small businesses need cybersecurity?
Whilst businesses of all sizes are targeted by cybercriminals, small businesses arguably have the most to lose. This is because they’re not backed by big corporations and even the smallest breach could have a significant financial impact.
It can also be hard to know where to start when it comes to setting up your own cybersecurity practices – but what’s important to know is that being proactive is the most important step. Prevention is key when it comes to cybersecurity as there may be no way to turn back the clock once your network has been infiltrated by cybercriminals.
What are the most prevalent cybersecurity threats for small businesses?
There are a myriad of ways that cybercriminals are targeting businesses across the globe, the most significant ones to be aware of as a small business are:
- Phishing/Business Email Compromise – Phishing is potentially the most well-known cyber threat, where cybercriminals use popular forms of communication such as emails and SMS to impersonate legitimate organisations in order to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal information. Business email compromise will typically involve a bad actor gaining access to one of your business emails and using it to represent your company.
- Malware – Malware is code that’s been injected into a network with malicious intent. This intent can be anything from the desire to take control of a particular system, corrupting that system rendering it unusable or stealing sensitive information.
- Ransomware – Ransomware is a form of Malware that serves the purpose of rendering a computer system or files unusable by the owner. The cybercriminals then demand some form of payment (often in cryptocurrency) to release the program.
The key things to look out for when protecting your company from falling victim to phishing, business email compromise, malware and ransomware are:
- Suspicious emails that often contain content that is misspelt or unaligned to the organisation it appears to be sent from
- Emails directing you to follow links to suspicious-looking domains
- Communication that encourages downloading a file, program or application that originates from somewhere unrecognised
Cybersecurity solutions for your small business
Some of the key building blocks that make up a successful cybersecurity framework for small business are:
- Using multiple forms of authentication for company emails and systems – this can include passwords, PINs, physical passes and fingerprint scanners
- Maintaining employee training – ensuring your employees are aware of what to look for and what actions to take when faced with potential cyber-attacks can be the difference between the attack being successful or thwarted
- Backing up your software and data – this way, if your systems are breached, you will have multiple copies of these details to be able to continue running your business and to attempt to recover from the cyber-attack
- Employing the expertise of a digital network security company such as FraudWatch to monitor your systems and the wider web to identify and thwart any potential threats. Contact the team at FraudWatch today to discuss how we can keep your small business safe and secure from digital threats.