It was always perceived that IT security threats were problems only faced by big business organizations since they seemed to be operating with large sums of money. However, small businesses are now also considered a lucrative target for cybersecurity threats by hackers. Such threats on small businesses can freeze business operations since they are bound to lose a lot.
Nowadays, hackers prefer attacking small businesses since businesses do not have sophisticated technology to prevent such attacks. Also, small businesses have been reluctant to incorporate stringent measures of fighting cybersecurity threats. They have never considered themselves to be as much of a target as the bigger corporations. Such thoughts have made them the easiest targets since they never put efficient time and resources onto their cybersecurity.
What’s at Risk?
Cybersecurity threats have adverse effects on a business. You may have a small business but still manage a large volume of client data in your system or be operating large sums. Some of the challenges your business faces when IT security is attacked and data exposed may include:
• Loss of business reputation since no client wants to associate with a business cannot guarantee their security.
• Loss of assets.
• The business incurs an increased expense in a bid to solve the cybersecurity threat problem.
It is, therefore, wise that even as you are managing a small business, you are aware of the common threats that may paralyze your business functions. Below is a list of the five most dangerous IT cybersecurity threats.
1. Phishing Attacks
These kinds of attacks on your business IT security are the most common and still the most damaging. Although there are more sophisticated cybersecurity attack methods, attackers still opt for this method as it is most effective. You can easily fall victim to this attack. Attackers send phishing emails designed to look like one from a trusted and legitimate contact. You are then prompted to click onto such emails, files, or even links. This gives the attackers access to your sensitive business information without your knowledge. There are also many phishing emails that prompt you for your login credentials.
Most IT security attackers prefer this method since it is one of the most lucrative. With this kind of attack, the hacker encrypts business networks and restricts you from accessing them. Then, they demand big payments before they can unlock the data. Such an attack can cripple your business since the two options you have may include paying the huge sums, incurring losses, or losing your business data, and shutting down the business. Being a small business owner may put you at more risk since attackers know that most small business owners rarely back up their data since they don’t anticipate being hit by such threats.
3. Malware Attacks
Malware attacks on your IT system may be another big threat to your IT security system. There are several ways malware such as viruses or Trojans can infect your system. They include connecting your devices to those that are already infected, malicious link downloads, and malicious emails. Malware attacks are quite costly since they cripple your business devices, forcing you to fix or purchase new ones. Hackers also get your business data from such malware, putting your business at risk.
4. Internal Threats
Small businesses today face their largest IT security threat from insider attacks. Some people who can attribute to such a threat may include rogue employees, former employees, or even close business associates with access to sensitive data. Some are out to enrich themselves and give your competition access to such data in exchange for cash or better positions.
5. Weak Passwords
When your employees have access to multiple accounts with sensitive data, it is wise to educate them. They should know the damage weak passwords can have to the business. Most attackers may first try to guess obvious passwords. If your employees have passwords that are weak, then your IT security system become compromised. One way to prevent issues with passwords being guessed or stolen is Multi-factor Authentication. Even with a correct password, with MFA turned on, an attacker cannot access your systems.
Most small businesses tend to have their employees bring their own devices to work. However, most of these devices are unsecured, and there is a lot of information that can bypass your IT security team and make your business vulnerable to IT security threats.
At the moment, small businesses are not exempted from dangerous IT security threats. You get to protect your business when you have comprehensive cybersecurity education. Train your employees on these threats and effective strategies for combating them. As they say, knowledge is power. Empower your employees with information to protect your business!
Hi, My name is Josh Giesing. I am the Operations Manager at Computer PRO Unltd. In my free time, I enjoy reading and have a passion for learning.