With the number of cybersecurity attacks increasing in recent years, they now pose a serious threat to small businesses around the world. A successful cyber-attack can seriously threaten the long-term health of your small business. Therefore, it is vital that all small business owners understand which cybersecurity threats they are particularly vulnerable to.
Why Small Businesses are the Target of Cyber Crimes
Small business owners might not realize just how vulnerable they are to cybercrimes; after all, don’t cyber criminals target large organizations? Unfortunately, small businesses are a common target of cybercriminals for a number of different reasons.
Firstly, small businesses tend to have few cybersecurity measures in place. This means that it is easier for a cybercriminal to target a small business. Secondly, there is an all too common lack of training in small businesses. Finally, employees are often the biggest threat to cybersecurity, as they inadvertently download malicious software or do not notice a phishing attack.
Small companies are also frequently the target of cyber-attacks as they can be viewed as a stepping stone to larger companies. This type of attack is clear when considering the 2013 Target cyber-attack that lead to 18.5 million dollars worth of settlement claims across 45 states. The cyber-criminals were able to gain access to Target’s network by first attacking a small air conditioning company that was working for Target.
Not only are small businesses becoming increasingly popular targets for cybercriminals, but they are also more vulnerable to the threats of cyber-attacks. As small businesses have less infrastructure and resources to fall back, the consequences of a cyber-attack can be more severe.
The first line of defense when it comes to protecting your business against cybersecurity attacks is to understand which threats you might be vulnerable to.
What Cybersecurity Threats Might You Be Vulnerable to?
As NetQuest explains, the best form of protection against cybersecurity threats is to use a managed IT service to ensure you are always secure. However, it is also important that business owners understand what cybersecurity threats they might be particularly vulnerable to.
The term malware is short for malicious software; this cyber-attack can come in many different forms. Examples of malware attack include ransomware, spyware, trojans, and viruses.
A phishing attack occurs when a cyber-criminal sends a message to the victim, usually over email, pretending to be from another person. The criminal will try to motivate the recipient to click on a link or input their personal details. This is usually done by disguising the email to seem legitimate and putting a sense of urgency on the message. In addition, cybercriminals will usually try to arouse an emotional state in the victim, such as fear or excitement, to impair a victim’s judgment.
Businesses that do not have set rules or guidelines about device security are putting themselves at risk. When staff are working from their personal devices without security measures, you are much more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data loss.
If your website does not have strong cybersecurity measures, you leave your business open to cybersecurity threats like Structured Query Language injections. Otherwise known as a SQL injection, this attack occurs when a cybercriminal inputs malicious code on your site to gain access to your database.
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