The internet has provided a number of benefits to small business owners. But with these benefits comes the threat of cyberattacks. A breach in cybersecurity can be devastating to your business and there are a few things you should know to keep your business as safe as possible from cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals Use Multiple Attack Methods
Emails are the most common avenue hackers and other cybercriminals will use in their attempts to compromise the cybersecurity of your company. Cybercriminals that use emails are much more advanced today than in the past when business owners and others would receive messages claiming they were descended from a royal family in Nigeria. Hackers will also mimic trusted websites, distribute USBs and other physical devices, and attack networks from remote desktops. The methods used by cybercriminals are constantly growing and evolving.
Identity Theft Is Serious Business
There is a reason why cybercriminals are willing to put so much effort into breaching the online security of businesses. These breaches can result in a lot of money being transferred to the criminal. They can also spell financial ruin for your business. A quick look at the numbers demonstrates the impact of cybercrimes on businesses. When all the numbers are tallied, fraud costs consumers more than $16 billion each year.
Human Error Is the Weak Link
Every employee working for your company needs to be trained in the necessary steps to maintain cybersecurity. If this does not happen, your company is at risk. In most cases, cybercriminals do not resemble the hackers you watch commit elaborate crimes on television or in the movies. In reality, cybercriminals rely more on their con game than extensive computer knowledge. One report showed that one in four data breaches happened after inside information was either used by a past or present employee or shared with a cybercriminal. The study also found the second most likely entry point for cybercriminals to be stolen or weak passwords.
The Value Is in Prevention
Many business owners fail to properly secure their networks because they believe it is too expensive to do so. However, the cost of a breach will be much more expensive than the cost of securing data that is sensitive to your company. A security breach can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or more. A breach can also damage the reputation of your company to the point of ruining your business completely. Depending on your industry or how you handle customer information your risks could increase greatly as you grow.
Cybercriminals Target Small Businesses
You have probably seen a news story involving a data breach suffered by a major corporation or organization. These stories can take attention away from the fact that small business owners are the most likely victims of cybercriminals. A poll conducted by Manta puts this concept in a perfect perspective. More than 1,400 small business owners were asked if they fear being targeted by cybercriminals. Eighty-seven percent of the business owners polled said they did not feel they had anything worth the attention of a hacker. The fact is, more than half of the small businesses in America were targeted by cybercriminals a year ago.
The Dangers of Unsecured Networks
In today's business world, more people are working remotely than ever before. This trend presents a number of benefits to both business owners and employees but is not without risk. Remote employees should understand the dangers associated with internet access provided at coffee shops and other public locations. Unsecured networks are easy targets to illegally access data that is sensitive to your company.
Constant Attention to Security Needed
The threats posed by cybercriminals are constantly evolving and you will need to adapt to this constantly changing environment. If your cybersecurity plan is dependent upon information that was widely used five years ago, the security of your company is at risk. For instance, the increase in cyber-attacks over the last few years has made it necessary to add more to cybersecurity efforts than anti-virus software.
The threat cybercriminals pose to small business owners in today's digital environment is considerable. Each year, millions of dollars are lost by small business owners who have their businesses attacked by cybercriminals. Business owners can decrease their cybersecurity risks by understanding the key issues involved with securing sensitive data and implementing strategies to do so.