We don’t often hear about small businesses falling victim to cyberattacks so it is natural to think these attacks are rare. We are susceptible to thinking only large corporations are at risk. Every day, online headlines are filled with stories of large businesses experiencing data breaches and malicious attacks. Don’t let this fool you. Small businesses are often more likely to be attacked.
It is common to think that your business won’t experience a cyber attack because you have less valuable information compared to a large enterprise. Small businesses have the same valuable data as large businesses: customer information, credit card numbers, employee SIN numbers, and intellectual property. A cybercriminal can obtain the same valuable information just on a smaller scale. It can be easier and faster for a cybercriminal to attack several small businesses rather than attacking one large business.
Small businesses are vulnerable to Ransomware attacks, especially if they don’t have a policy or strategy in place to retrieve data. Ransomware is a form of malicious software that threatens to hold or publish data unless a ransom is paid. Many small businesses have no other way of retrieving their data and feel pressured into paying a ransom.
A cybercriminal wants you to feel helpless enough to have no other option than to pay. Large corporations have systems in place to retrieve data. Therefore, it is more effective for a cybercriminal to attack smaller businesses who don’t have the resources to retrieve data.
Your business can be a stepping stone to an attack on a larger organization. Cyber attacks will target small businesses in order to get business contacts. A cybercriminal may use your business to uncover email addresses and other contact information. Once they have contact information they can send phishing emails to larger organizations that they want to target. This still poses a threat to your security and data and can compromise relations with other organizations and partnerships.
Many small businesses have defences in place but are ill-equipped to handle advanced threats. Advanced cyber attacks are able to pass through several layers of security. Firewalls and antivirus software are still important security measures but they can’t always stop advanced attacks. Additional security precautions need to be implemented alongside traditional software.
Another common vulnerability is that small businesses may have the tools to stop attacks but the execution of these tools fails to make them effective. You need to have a knowledgeable IT team operating these defences to ensure they are effective at preventing cyber attacks.
Small businesses may lack resources such as time, money, and skills to invest into cybersecurity. In the early stages of a business, it can be especially difficult to allocate money towards security measures. However, the earlier you invest in this technology, the better. Ideally, you should find an IT company who can work with your business as it grows. Over time, they will adjust your services as the needs of your business change.
Small business owners might lack awareness and education around cybersecurity. There are new and different ways cybercriminals are attacking businesses every week so it is difficult to stay informed. Many people don’t realize that their systems can be compromised by a hacker even if they have security defences in place. It is important to stay informed and updated about cybersecurity. A reliable IT company will be aware of new threats and can make sure your small business is protected against cyber attacks.
Keystone Technologies will keep you informed about cyber attacks and protect your small business from threats and data breaches.