Running a small business is no easy task. Small businesses are vulnerable to cyber threats as large organizations and governments are. According to a 2021 IBM study, 52% of SMBs had been the victim of a cyberattack the year prior. Additionally, according to another survey, only 50% of American small businesses had a cyber-attack prevention plan in place for 2022. While a slight improvement over the past, this still indicates that 50% of people lack a strategy, which is a serious problem.
Why Do Attackers Target Small Businesses?
According to a joint analysis report, data breach costs rose by 10% in 2021, and according to Verizon’s data, 95% of attacks cost SMBs $826 to $653,587. The main reason attackers target SMBs is that these businesses frequently lack the funding necessary to mount a successful defense against assaults.
SMBs fall into the cybersecurity sweet spot for hackers because these businesses have more digital resources to attack than individuals but lower security than major corporations. Most small business owners are willing to shell out a payment to have their data back because security breaches may be damaging to those businesses. SMBs may also serve as a launching pad for attackers seeking to enter larger corporations.
Common Small Business Cyber Attacks
Here’s a list of the most common cyberattacks on small businesses to look out for.
An advanced persistent threat, often known as an APT, is a continuing targeted attack when a hacker enters in stages to avoid being discovered. An attacker tries to avoid detection once they have gained access to the target network and can establish a foothold.
Malware refers to any program installed on a target computer to cause harm or obtain unauthorized access. Malware can take the form of viruses, worms, ransomware, and Trojan horses. Understanding this is crucial because it allows you to choose the right kind of antivirus software.
Possibly the most widely used type of cybercrime, phishing assaults include gathering sensitive data, such as login passwords and sensitive information, using a website that appears authentic but is ultimately false and is frequently sent through emails.
A ransomware assault infects your computer with malicious software and demands payment. In most cases, ransomware either prevents you from using your computer or demands payments in exchange for access, or it threatens to leak your personal data if you don’t pay a certain sum.
Cyber Attack Effects On Small Businesses
In this maze of cyberattacks, your small business might be gone in the blink of an eye. Cyberattacks have a significant impact through a variety of methods, including phishing emails, malware like spyware, ransomware, trojans, and viruses. If your business has a ransomware assault and all of its data is encrypted, your network will be crippled, and the only way to limit threat actors’ access to your data is to simply shut down the operation.
Fines and recovery can therefore be quite distressing. The cost of recovering from cyberattacks, notifying all of your clients, or demonstrating to the data protection authority that the attack was not a GDPR issue will result in fines and other consequences for you. To prevent catastrophic damage for small businesses, you should start considering cybersecurity solutions for small business.
How to Protect Your Small Business
Integrate security into the culture of your business
Studies have shown that around 85% of breaches were caused by human error, such as choosing weak passwords or falling for phishing scams. These breaches can be reduced through comprehensive awareness campaigns that go beyond potential attacks. Additionally, they weave safety into the structure of the business, continually reminding staff members that they have to maintain safety.
Install and update malware prevention and anti-virus software
The ideal software to have on your computer is anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-ransomware, and anti-phishing protection. Make sure to keep it updated frequently.
Impose the usage of two-factor authentication and strong passwords
Guessing passwords is the simplest method of breaking into a small business network. The majority of people use the same password for numerous websites and accounts. Every employee’s account should have a different password. The most effective way to accomplish this is via password managers.
Regular data backups
It’s ideal to have several backups of business data. In this way, you won’t be completely left in the dark if you end up a victim of numerous hacks.
Limit access to employees
Limit employees’ access to only the data and systems they require. You can restrict the harm that a user can bring to your security by maintaining strict access limits.