3 Types of Cyberattacks Most Small Business Face
Some small business owners are lax towards cybersecurity, as they feel their organization is too small to be a target. Little do they know that they face the same level of risk as larger companies. Cybercriminals are getting smarter with their attacks and some even automate certain tasks, so they can attack multiple targets at once.
The small business owners that implement weak cybersecurity measures, and do not proactively look out for threats to their IT infrastructure suffer greatly from cyberattacks. Hackers know small businesses might have large sums of money at their disposal, or substantial volumes of data they can steal. This is why they target them. Sometimes, hacking a small business’ IT systems is a pathway to a larger company because the two organizations in question might have an ongoing partnership.
To avoid these incidents, it is important to know the different types of cyberattacks small businesses can face and how to prevent them. Here are some of them;
1. Malware Attacks
Malware is any software created to harm, corrupt, destroy, or gain unauthorized entry to a computer system. It is a major threat to small businesses, as it can be used to extract critical information, steal funds or erase valuable data stored on computers. They mostly come from files downloaded from unsecured websites, attachments from suspicious emails, and corrupted USB devices.
Small businesses suffer malware attacks because they usually allow staff to use their personal devices for work. This is not advisable because most malware downloads occur on personal devices, and they can transfer unto work online platforms. A solution is to issue members of staff work computers or phones that have powerful anti-malware software installed on them, and limit their ability to access unsecure websites. They should also tell their staff about possible cybersecurity risks they can face.
2. Phishing Attacks
These occur when cybercriminals use social engineering tactics to trick computer users into clicking malicious links, downloading suspicious files, or giving out their account login details. Phishing attacks are effective against oblivious people that lack cybersecurity training. Over the years, scammers have improved their methods.
Phishing scams are hard to fight against because instead of targeting weakness in a computer network, they prey on human negligence. Phishing threats can be minimized by teaching staff to look out for unfamiliar email addresses or links, and unusual website URLs. Business owners should also install security software that can detect spam emails when they enter the inbox of employees.
3. Ransomware Attacks
As the name implies, ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts its victim’s files. This makes them unable to use them until they pay a sum of money as ransom. Small businesses attacked with ransomware either have to pay the money or let it disrupt their service, which would still make them lose money.
Most small businesses pay the ransom because their data is not backed up and they cannot afford to lose it. To combat this, businesses should regularly backup their critical information to the cloud. This will allow the business owner to restore the information whenever there is a ransomware attack. They should also ensure all their work devices have reliable cybersecurity software equipped with endpoint protection features. This will prevent ransomware from encrypting the devices in the first place.
Unfortunately, there are many other cyberthreats small businesses face. To avoid losses, business owners should ensure they put the necessary security tools in place and give their staff adequate cybersecurity training. This training would let them know the signs they should be aware of, and the steps to take when they encounter cyberthreats.