Almost all modern industries run on technology and data — and cybercriminals are constantly using highly sophisticated techniques to exploit companies of every size. The health crisis has exacerbated this issue, as cloud computing company Iomart notes that the large-scale data breaches recorded during this year’s first quarter have increased by 273% across the globe compared to last year. This means that every company needs to bolster its cybersecurity — especially small businesses that are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
In this post, we’ll take a deep dive on why small businesses should boost their cybersecurity and how they can do it
Why Small Businesses are Being Targeted
More and more cyber criminals have been targeting small businesses. Though you may feel like a small and unnoticeable target compared to the likes of Yahoo, Facebook, or Zoom — all victimized in the last few years — the fact of the matter is that small businesses are less prepared to handle a cyber attack, and have even more to lose. HP reports that 43% of all attacks actually target small businesses, with 40% of these organizations saying that their technologies were not able to detect and block criminals. Common points of attack include cloud-based applications, phishing, and social engineering. Businesses should also be aware that these can even target networked peripherals like printers and scanners.
This is especially alarming as a Live Mint article on the threats facing Indian small businesses reported that 60% go under 6 months after a hack. For these reasons, leaders of small businesses should map out a robust cybersecurity strategy to make sure that they are ready to face and survive a cyber attack.
3 Ways to Boost Cybersecurity
Keep Your Systems Up-To-Date
Cybercriminals are always reinventing their methods to find the most efficient and effective way to steal data and harm small businesses. That’s why you have to make sure that your systems, websites, and software are regularly updated. This is crucial as the updates address any security issues and vulnerabilities that can put your business at risk. If you find this process to be cumbersome and time-consuming, many systems have an option to automatically update whenever a security patch or update is available.
Professional Protection is Essential
Small businesses should invest in professional cybersecurity services. This ranges from using enterprise-grade antivirus and antimalware software to employing a DDoS mitigation provider to defend and monitor your website. Furthermore, properly vetting your cloud technology provider can also make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your business. In our post ‘3 Reasons Why Cloud Security is More Important Than Ever’ we discussed that not all cloud service providers offer the same level of security. So while using cloud services has a ton of benefits on operations, choosing a negligent provider can be detrimental to the security of your company.
Training is Key
Despite having the proper safety measures by employing professional cybersecurity services, your business can still fall victim to cyber attacks if your staff isn’t well informed. In fact, 90% of data breaches are caused by human error. Most people aren’t aware of the basic security tips and measures, so be sure to give your employees a comprehensive cybersecurity training program. This should include teaching how to properly use company systems, taking care of their security credentials, and general cyber hygiene measures so that they also have the means to protect their personal data.
CEOs and leaders of small businesses should always stay on top of their cybersecurity. As small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber threats and less likely to recover after an attack, any step taken to bolster cybersecurity matters greatly.