The idea that smaller businesses are at a smaller risk of cyberattacks and hacking is a common misconception that often shatters small businesses. In fact, small businesses are usually easier and more common targets for cybercriminals due to not only this misconception, but the fact that they do not usually have the same stringent security measures in place as the larger companies that are much harder to bypass. For small businesses, even the smallest threat can end up being fatal, and with small business attacks on the rise across the globe, cybersecurity is a problem that can no longer be ignored by businesses of any size.
Cyberattacks are often indifferent about the size of your business and small businesses can often be preferred targets for criminals who are looking for an easy way in. But with breaches costing thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds to rectify, many small businesses do not have the financial means to survive such a catastrophe.
Many small business owners and managers are simply blissfully unaware of the threats that they face and the level of risks that they might be in. But these cybersecurity threats are only getting bigger for small businesses, meaning that it is no longer an issue that you can continue to ignore.
Phishing scams might remind you of that email you once received claiming to be from a prince who was gifting you a million dollars just as soon as you sent over all your personal information, but the truth is that they can get much more sophisticated than that. Not all phishing attacks are immediately recognisable – some can be extremely deceptive – and it’s difficult at first glance to see that anything might be wrong. All it takes is for a small business employee or manager to receive a seemingly legitimate, innocent email from their business bank asking them to log into the account and the next thing you know, a cybercriminal has that login information and access to your funds.
Many small businesses believe that DDoS attacks are no longer relevant, but the truth is that they are still quite common. In fact, in 2017 and 2018, we saw the frequency of DDoS attacks more than double, with quite a lot of victims being small businesses. A DDoS attack is not only dangerous because it will compromise your data, but it will also significantly affect the quality of service that your business can provide during the attack. These attacks come from a range of different sources, flooding your server with requests and messages that can eventually slow the servers down and even lead to malfunctioning of your website. As a result, not only do businesses that are the victim of these attacks have to deal with the loss of data, but they can also lead to a serious loss of customers, revenue, and reputation.
Ransomware attacks are the most common type of cyberattack and they are on the rise at an alarming rate. In fact, ransomware attacks are now in their billions and experts predict that there is a new ransomware attack every fourteen seconds, meaning that this threat is one that simply cannot be ignored. Ransomware attacks are carried out when attackers access your data and then hold it hostage until you pay them a ransom. And, small businesses tend to be a bigger target for this type of attack because it’s often easier for the criminals to access the data due to lacking security measures and small businesses are typically more likely to pay the ransom. Protect your small business from ransomware attacks and other criminal activity by working with a good IT support company in London.
Outsourcing your IT and security to IT support in London provides you with additional peace of mind and minimises your risk of becoming the next victim. Totality Services offers London IT support to small businesses who are serious about protecting their data from the next threat. They are a Microsoft Partner and one of the IT companies in London with several awards that work around the clock to support and protect their clients.
Sometimes, the threat can be coming from inside your business. Employees who are not educated on cybersecurity and the importance of having strong passwords could be increasing your risk level without even realising. Many small businesses sadly still rely on very old-fashioned authentication methods and one in five small businesses are at risk of cyberattacks and data breaches due to weak passwords. Employees that use common, easily guessable passwords can be a bigger threat to your company than you may think. Thankfully, this can be easily rectified by using stronger, two-step authentication methods, secure password manager tools for all employees and a strong password policy that should be adhered to at all times. This should include regular password changes for all employees.
Bring Your Own Device
More and more small businesses are allowing employees to bring their own devices to work from in the office, and this is a common practice among companies that allow or encourage remote working. However, while allowing employees to bring their own devices to work can be cheaper for the company and more satisfying for the employees themselves who are able to work on devices that they are familiar with, it can also bring about a lot of additional security threats when not managed correctly.
When employees bring their own devices and connect them to the company network, they are then exposing the network to any malware or viruses that might be on their own devices. To deal with this threat, it’s important to ensure that before bringing their own device to work on, all employees agree to have the device scanned for viruses and malware and have proper, up-to-date anti-virus and firewall software installed before connecting. A strong BYOD policy should be in place to protect both your business and your employees.
Lack of Training
Finally, one of the biggest cybersecurity threats to small businesses today is a lack of knowledge and awareness. No matter how small the business, it’s important to ensure that everybody is working together to ensure that the business and its data is well-protected. Often, some of the most devastating breaches are the result of simple, innocent mistakes like writing a password down on a post-it notes, or a reply to an email that turned out to be a phishing attack.
One of the best things that your small business can do to tighten and improve security across the board is provide strong, ongoing training to every employee. When each employee is trained to better identify threats, understands the most common types of attacks to look out for, and is vigilant about any software that they install on any devices that they use for work or connect to the workplace network, the threat of a cyberattack will be much lower. Bear in mind that sometimes, completely preventing a cyberattack attempt is impossible – but well-trained employees can spot it in its infancy and stop it from going any further.
Assuming that small businesses aren’t at a big risk from cyberattacks is a danger to your company. These are just some of the biggest threats that small businesses face, making focusing on cybersecurity more important than ever.