Top 5 Security Threats Against Small Businesses
Cybersecurity threats are everywhere and it is a well-known fact that with each passing year, the amount of cyber-attacks continues to grow exponentially. This means that small and medium-sized business must be alert to security threats round the clock.
5 Common IT Security Threats Small Business Owners Must Know
- Phishing Attacks – Despite the sensitization messages and instructions concerning phishing e-mails, thousands of small businesses still fall victim to phishing attacks on a daily basis. This is why the training and retraining of staff is a highly recommended policy to integrate regardless of how small a business entity is. A trained staff would know what to look out for and the links to avoid even if your business is been targeted by phishing attacks.
- DDoS Attacks – Distributed Denial of Service attacks have proved to be quite successful in bringing down large corporations, and your small business is not immune. A DDoS attack involves overwhelming your IT systems with a lot of traffic with the aim of initiating downtime. Therefore, in order to tackle DDoS attacks, a security policy that includes working with a Distributed Network System (DNS) and monitoring website traffic is recommended.
- Ransomware – Ransomware has become the malware of choice for hackers looking to defraud businesses due to the way the attack works. A ransomware attack takes hostage of your entire IT system and business data, in exchange for a fee. The attacker will only release the key to your encrypted data after you have made a payment as instructed. The success of ransomware attacks is also due to personnel error due to the fact that ransomware links are sent in phishing messages and as executable files.
- Human Error – The machines have not yet taken over and human error still remains responsible for 38% of successful cyber-attacks in SMEs. Therefore, securing your IT networks as discussed in this post will be effective only if your staff understand the importance of IT security. Security threats can only be mitigated or spotted in time if your staff is trained to spot the signs of a cyber-attack.
- Internal Attacks – Not many small businesses have the paying capacity of their larger counterparts and this means staff salaries are sometimes just above minimum wage. Although the last sentence isn’t a justification, it is important to note that employees of SMEs sometimes go rogue and take advantage of the system they work in. This is why SMEs should set a privacy and access policy which will limit staff from accessing sensitive customer data.
Initiating and integrating the correct policies to protect your small business from these security threats is a task best left to professionals. You can learn more about the benefits of hiring an IT consultant in this article or you can choose to speak to our experts to determine your security requirements.