A gigantic 100 terabytes of internet traffic get used every second. Internet surfers try to consume information every minute like social media videos, sports news, movies, and even remote work.
The internet has metamorphosed to become a platform on which most industries build their applications. Hackers understand this fact and try to perform cyber-attacks to penetrate a system’s security.
In the past ten years, we’ve seen companies get their systems breached, never to recover from that singular loss. Although most data breaches that hit the front-page news affect big companies, most corporate hacks are experienced by small and medium-sized firms. Research made by Verizon has shown that 43% of system breaches affect small and medium-sized businesses.
Reasons Why Hackers Attack Smaller Firms
Hackers attack smaller firms for the same reasons people choose to go up against weaker opponents. If the people you have to face don’t give you a hard time, it becomes easier to get to the top.
When entrepreneurs start up a business, several financial decisions are made. Hence, cybersecurity measures are often forgotten. If your business doesn’t focus on internet security, there could be unrestricted access to hackers.
The issue is that one cyber-attack can deaden all your business plans. According to the US National Cybersecurity Alliance, 6 in 10 small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses fail after being the target of data breaches within less than a year.
What’s worse is that business owners and managers don’t realize this fact. A study has shown that 82% of SMB owners think they’re not big enough to experience cybercrime. SMBs are the perfect entities for hackers to target because they have less cybersecurity than big firms and more money than individual internet users.
Businesses typically spend a lot on cyber defence, which discourages several SMBs from implementing these cybersecurity measures. Ransomware is the most common cyber threat that small businesses face since they need access to their files. Usually, to get rid of ransomware, a ransom in the form of cryptocurrency is paid.
Most Common Cyber Threats to Businesses
Apart from ransomware, DDoS attacks can hit a small business. Suppose your business highly relies on its website to get customers. In that case, a DDoS attack will overload and shut down the website.
Malware attacks can also affect your business. They include Trojans and spyware, which can allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to your information
Protecting your Small Business Against Cyber-Attacks
Here are some ways to protect your businesses against cyber-attacks:
- Antivirus software is one of the best ways to protect a system against malware. When most people think of implementing cybersecurity, an antivirus is the first thing they think about. Nevertheless, antiviruses should be used in conjunction with firewalls. A firewall is like the security guard at a gate preventing unwanted access into your home.
- Another solution is to back up your business data to the cloud or on a hard drive. Ransomware attacks businesses by preventing access to relevant files. Technically, if the entirety of your data is backed up, you wouldn’t need to pay a ransom to get rid of a ransomware attack.
- Your business needs encryption software to prevent hackers from gaining access to personally identifiable data. Sensitive information such as the details of a business deal, financial statements, and employee information can get exposed.
- Strong account security is needed if your business highly utilizes the cloud for its operations. This is where two-factor authentication comes in. Activate two-factor authentication on any online account that holds sensitive company files.
Small businesses typically focus on the finance aspect and ignore the cybersecurity part. This can prove counter-productive because one successful cyber-attack can shut down a firm’s entire operations.
To prevent this as a small business, antivirus programs can be downloaded, two-factor authentication implemented, and encryption software utilized.