There’s no doubt that small businesses have a perceived vulnerability. With limited resources to devote to cybersecurity, they are far more susceptible to attacks than their larger counterparts. Most small businesses rely on third-party vendors and contractors for technology services, which can further increase their exposure to cyber threats.
A cyber attack can have devastating consequences for a small business, including financial loss, reputational damage, and even legal liability. A breach of sensitive customer or employee data can lead to identity theft, fraud, and other types of cybercrime. Such incidents can also result in lost revenue, business interruption, and damage to a company’s brand and reputation.
I’m a small business owner: do I need network security?
Absolutely. You may think that your company is too small to be the target of phishing or malware, but you can’t really afford to take any chances: err on the side of caution and protect your employees and your brand with effective cyber intelligence services. With the advent of more sophisticated malware coming into effect due to AI, it’s even more important than ever to remain vigilant.
What are some of the top online threats facing small businesses?
Some of the common types of cyber threats that small business owners face include:
- Phishing: This is a technique where cybercriminals send fraudulent emails or messages that appear to be from a trusted source, with the aim of tricking the recipient into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information.
- Malware/Virus: Designed to cause harm to a computer system, malware is a very common online threat. It can be introduced to a system through various means, including email attachments, malicious websites, or infected software.
- Spear phishing: A more targeted form of phishing, spear fishing is where attackers gather information about specific individuals or companies and use that information to create more convincing fraudulent messages.
- Ransomware attack: This is a type of attack where a cybercriminal uses malware to encrypt a victim’s data, making it unusable until a ransom is paid.
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): These are long-term, targeted attacks that are designed to gain access to a system and remain undetected for an extended period. APTs are often used by state-sponsored actors or other highly sophisticated attackers.
How to protect your business against cyber attacks
Your small business can’t afford to rely on simple solutions like anti-virus software or firewall to protect your most sensitive information. Cyber criminals are getting craftier, and can evade these types of defences.
Here are some tips on how to protect your business from cybercrime:
- Educate employees in security principles: Take the time to teach and train your staff on how to identify and correctly respond to cyber threats.
- Keep clean machines: Use firewall security for your internet connection, secure your Wi-Fi networks, and ensure the latest security software is up-to-date.
- Implement authentications: Use multi-factor authentication (MFA), which adds as an additional layer of security. This will require you and your employees to provide two or more proof of identity before you can access your account.
Take proactive steps to protect your small business from cyber threats
If you’re a small business, investing in cybersecurity can be a smart decision for you, as it can help prevent costly cyber incidents and protect your customers’ and employees’ sensitive information. By prioritising cybersecurity, you can also demonstrate your commitment to data privacy and security, which can enhance your reputation and build trust with customers and stakeholders.
FraudWatch has been providing high quality cybersecurity solutions to small and medium businesses across Australia. From email security to mobile app fraud monitoring, proactive social media protection, DMARC, dark web monitoring and even site takedown, we are the experts to trust when it comes to your brand’s reputation. Contact us today and speak with our brand protection agents.