Cybersecurity Risks for Small Businesses: A Guide to the Most Common Threats
Did You Know Smaller Businesses Are At Greater Risk Of Cyber Attacks Than Larger Businesses?
Small businesses are common targets of cyber attacks; however small business owners often overlook this fact, which often means that they do not take adequate action to prevent cyber attacks from happening and also do not have a plan in place to recover from a cyber attack after they have been hit.
Smaller businesses are far less likely than large businesses to have individuals working for them that know about cybersecurity, this can leave the entire organisation vulnerable to cyber attacks. Organisations that do not have sufficient knowledge about the dangers of cyber-attacks are less likely to have procedures in place to avoid cyber attacks in the first place and recover from cyber attacks when they happen. Resulting in smaller businesses being hit by successful cyber attacks more frequently and the cyber attacks causing sometimes lasting devastation to the business.
Many small business owners have a misconception that cyber criminals only target larger businesses, there is a good reason why many people think this too; when small businesses get hit with a cyber attack it doesn’t make the news. However, when a larger business gets hit with a cyber attack it is often featured on the front pages. This means that small business owners tend to discount their business as a potential target, which can mean that they do not take adequate actions to protect their business from cyber-attacks.
Many small businesses may not invest in cyber security training for their employees and important cybersecurity tools because they are concerned about the cost of doing so. In any case the cost of implementing these pales in comparison to recovering from a cyber attack of a data breach. Additionally, businesses that have been a recent victim of a cyber attack can also expect a reduction in customers as customers are cautious about doing business with that business because they are worried about hackers obtaining their personal information from the attack.
Smaller businesses are less likely to have policies and procedures in place than larger companies. This can lead to inconsistencies in cyber security practices in the company as some employees may have some level of cybersecurity knowledge and others will not. Larger businesses usually have a standardised document that is sent out to new employees that details a set of cyber security rules that each employee should follow. Additionally, such documents should provide information on who to contact within the organisation to get additional information.
Smaller businesses may be overly focused on adhering to cybersecurity legislation such as data protection. Whilst adhering to legislation will help the cybersecurity of businesses they should not stop there; Instead, they should aim to exceed this.
Smaller businesses can hold massive amounts of data as they collect information about their customers, this information is a valuable commodity and hackers know this! Information such as credit card information, medical records, social security numbers and proprietary business information can all be sold on the dark web to the highest bidder.
Cybercriminals also target individuals and businesses to steal their computing power, this computing power can be used by cybercriminals in what is known as crypto-jacking, which is where cybercriminals steal computer power to mine cryptocurrency. Cryptomining involves computer devices processing power being used to authenticate and secure cryptocurrency transactions. Crypto mining uses a lot of computing power which is why cyber criminals steal the processing power from other people’s machines.
Supply chain cyber attacks usually start when a cyber attacker targets the weakest link in the chain. If hackers manage to breach the cyber security of your company the cyber security of the entire supply chain becomes more vulnerable, which can make it easier for hackers to breach other companies in the supply chain which may be larger.
Hackers target individuals for financial gain so why wouldn’t they target businesses in the same way to potentially gain significantly more? The answer is that hackers do target businesses of all sizes for financial gain, meaning businesses could lose out significantly if they are hit with a successful cyber attack. If you have been financially impacted by a cyber attack or a scam you should contact a fraud recovery professional who will be able to maximise the likelihood that you will get your money back.
Smaller businesses often underestimate how vulnerable their business is to a cyber attack, ensuring that there are organisational policies and procedures put in place to foster a consistent cyber security approach amongst your staff members. It is also important to ensure that such information is easily accessible to each employee who works within your organisation to allow them to refer back to this information if they are ever unsure about something they encounter. If your business has lost out financially as a result of a cyber attack you should contact fraud recovery professionals, who will be able to maximise the chances of you getting your money back.