Cybersecurity Risks of Small Business and how to avoid it

Are you sure that your business is safe from cyberattacks like ransomware? Like most businesses, you probably think that you have taken all necessary precautions to protect yourself from all forms of cyberattacks.  You probably think that your data is well-protected.  This is common to many business owners.  Unfortunately, 81% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) report breaches.

 

It takes more than just an antivirus software and weak firewall to protect your business.  There are cybersecurity risks that small businesses face daily.  It is so important to take steps to protect your data. Strategic IT planning is necessary to avoid disruption of standard operations.

 

What are the Cybersecurity Risks?

 

According to Small Business Trends, small businesses need to spend an average of $879,582 to recover from a data breach.  This is why they need to have a business disaster recovery plan in place because this price tag can be disastrous for SMBs.

 

In 2017, 61% of 600 test respondents confirmed that they had experienced cyberattacks and 54% of these attacks are in the form of data breach.  The losses are far from significant, so it is essential to have resources and disaster recovery strategies in place to avoid cyberattacks like ransomware.

 

What is Ransomware?

 

Ransomware is one of the cyber risks that companies may have to deal with.  It is a form of malware.  It is designed to overtake devices by affecting systems with encrypted data.  A ransom is then demanded. The hacker will only allow limited access until this ransom is paid.

 

Unfortunately, this could force SMBs to pay more than they can afford.  Some companies pay millions just to get their data back.  Downtime can cost companies millions as well.  All these things could be avoided with today’s technologies.

 

Why Are SMF’s At Risk?

 

Cybercriminals attack anyone. It doesn’t matter if you own a large or small business; you are susceptible to attacks. SMBs are easy targets for hackers.  They do not have the same cybersecurity that multinational companies have.

 

Large companies allocate money and resources to protect their data and information. They enjoy the benefits of backup and recovery systems.  Hackers are likely to get caught when they try to hack large companies, so they settle for smaller ones instead.

 

SMBs have outdated security updates. They do not have the resources for cybersecurity solutions, yet they have valuable business data.  They can even expose their data accidentally without them even knowing.

 

Hackers are using the ‘Spray & Pray’ technique to attack SMBs. They use automated tracking of IP addresses. The attacks can be random, but if your business is not well protected, you are vulnerable to attacks.

 

Hackers may also attack you via emails. In fact, 92% of malware is delivered through emails.  A small business may actually receive nine malicious emails in a month.  A firm with at least 20 employees can receive 180 malicious emails.  If there is a poor firewall, the malware may go through and attacked company data.

 

SMBs are also prone to human error.  According to Verizon’s 2018 DBIR report, 1 out of 5 security breaches was due to human error.  Is it possible to avoid this? Yes.  Larger firms have the time and resources dedicated to training their employees to avoid these errors.  Untrained employees will likely click on phishing campaigns.

 

Small and mid-sized businesses are indeed vulnerable to security attacks. This is the reality.  They don’t have the proper disaster recovery strategies in place. They don’t have the benefits of backing up data against these attacks.  They don’t have the resources to educate themselves about the proper solutions to protect their firms against cyberattacks.

 

It is important to understand the technology available to SMBs to protect themselves against attacks.  Unfortunately, cybercriminals are staying ahead of small businesses because of the confusion surrounding cybersecurity and the cost of protecting the company against these cyberattacks.

 

According to Verizon 2018 DBIR, 58% of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses.  The attacks are becoming more serious and sophisticated. Since 2017, cyberattacks have cost SMBs millions of dollars. Companies have to understand that a fair portion of their budget has to be directed to securing themselves against hackers as well.

 

What Can SMBs Do to Protect Themselves Against Ransomware and Cyberattacks?

 

 

Streamline Technology Group Ohio suggests a list of precautionary measures to help protect small and mid-sized businesses against ransomware or cyberattacks.  Here are some strategies that SMBs should consider adopting to prevent attacks:

 

  • Train and educate employees about cyberattacks. Emphasize the importance of cybersecurity. Make sure to keep them up-to-date about the latest technologies. Teach them about data security. Inform them about the possible attacks. Create your company policies so that everyone will be informed.
  • Make sure to back up your company data. You cannot overemphasize this. It is important to back up your data regularly. Breaches are a reality, and cyberattacks are alarming.  You don’t want to lose access to confidential information, and pay thousands to millions of dollars just to get them back. Make sure to back your data offsite, locally, and even on the cloud.