Three Common Cybersecurity Threats Small Businesses Should Be Worried About

Cybersecurity issues affect small businesses just as much as they do huge corporations. A widespread fallacy among small business owners is that protection comes from anonymity, that your company is too tiny to be a target, however, this is not the case.

It’s becoming easier for attackers to target hundreds, if not thousands, of small businesses at once as attacks become more automated. Small organizations frequently have fewer technology safeguards in place, are less aware of dangers, and have less time and resources to devote to cybersecurity or hire a cybersecurity expert. As a result, they are an easier target for hackers than larger corporations.

They are, nevertheless, not any less lucrative targets. Even the tiniest firms can deal with big sums of money or have access to massive quantities of client data, which they must secure under legislation like GDPR. Because small firms frequently collaborate with big corporations, hackers can utilize them to target major corporations.

Small firms, perhaps, stand to lose the most if they are attacked by a severe cyber-attack. According to a recent survey, organizations with less than 500 employees lose $2.5 million on average every assault. Losing this much money in a cyber breach is terrible for small firms, and that’s without considering the reputational harm that comes with being hacked.

As a result, small firms must be aware of the hazards and how to counteract them. This post will go over the top three security dangers that businesses face, as well as how businesses may defend themselves from them.

Before that, if you feel you should study more on this, you can start with getting cybersecurity training online. Several cybersecurity certification courses are available for you to get started with.  

Phishing

Phishing is one of the most dangerous and widespread digital security dangers that small companies face. A phishing scam occurs when a threat actor, posing as a genuine and respected institution/individual, creates and sends an email/SMS or other forms of communication to steal sensitive information, get access to networks, infect systems with malware, and so on.

Threat actors produced communications imitating senior managers or vendors in one-third of the incidents, with the majority of them seeking money. Employees grabbed the bait in half of the cases and ended up transferring corporate monies!

Phishing harms businesses by generating downtimes, network/system takeovers, data theft, and other issues. According to data, these assaults cost small firms in the United States between $50,000 and $100,000 in financial damage. This does not account for reputational harm, customer churn, or other costs. What makes this threat even more frightening is that phishing is at the root of 91% of current hacks!

Even though phishing has been an ongoing cybersecurity concern for small organizations for some years, the epidemic has exacerbated the situation. Attackers are taking advantage of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak to conduct phishing schemes and lure unsuspecting employees into doing their bidding.

Ransomeware attack

Ransomware is a sort of malware that is started when a victim clicks on a malicious link in a phishing email or opens a malicious email attachment. This virus, on the other hand, might be deployed without the consumers’ knowledge through security weaknesses in the network/system/web application. Once engaged, this cybersecurity threat takes control of the system or the entire network, thereby shutting down operations.

Ransomware attacks are a profitable cybersecurity attack type in which an attacker encrypts firm data and renders it inaccessible/unavailable/unusable to the organization. The attacker manipulates the company into paying a large ransom to get the data back.

According to statistics, the average ransom requested is USD 5900. Another estimate puts the ransom at anything between $10,000 and $50,000. This isn’t all, though. The cost of ransomware attacks also includes the cost of downtime, which is estimated to be 23 times more expensive than the ransom. The average cost of downtime is USD 118,000. There’s also the cost of lost or stolen data, attack detection, forensic audits, containment, recovery, fines, and brand value degradation.

Paying the ransom does not ensure that the data will be returned, which makes these attacks much nastier. The ransom amount might be increased indefinitely by the perpetrator. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that all data will be restored, exacerbating the problem.

Insider Threats

Insider threats are cyber threats that originate from within an organization. Employees, vendors, third-party service providers, partners, and suppliers are examples of inside actors. Insiders may include:

Negligent users who, unwittingly, but the company’s data and assets at risk. Downloading a dangerous email attachment without first confirming its veracity, for example.

Insiders with malicious intent who want to intentionally harm the company through targeted assaults, making use of insider advantages

Employees/partners that are disgruntled and may purposefully leak passwords, credentials, or other critical information.

Insider threats cost small firms an average of USD 7.68 million every occurrence! Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, most organizations are working remotely on insecure networks, sharing personal devices, and other methods that increase the potential of insider attacks. Furthermore, 22% of small organizations have moved to remote work without a solid cybersecurity threat prevention plan in place, increasing the risks and costs of insider attacks.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

While cybersecurity is important for all types of organizations, it is especially important for small enterprises. According to statistics, 60% of small firms close within 6 months following a successful hack or data breach! Small enterprises lack the cushioning of technological force, resources, and knowledge to recover swiftly from assaults, with average expenditures of USD 3.86 million.

Wrapping up

No company is ever too little or insignificant to be targeted. Cybersecurity concerns affect all organizations, regardless of their size or nature of operations. The fact that small firms are the target of 43% of all cybersecurity assaults demonstrates that their size/scale does not offer them the benefit of anonymity from attackers.

Small companies are currently experiencing a variety of risks. The best method for organizations to protect themselves from these dangers is to implement a complete set of security measures and implement cybersecurity training certification to ensure that people are aware of security hazards and how to avoid them.

Small business cybersecurity that is effective and proactive ensures business continuity, making it a top priority. Small businesses can benefit from the money spent on strong cybersecurity. 

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