How Small Businesses Are Vulnerable to Hackers

In this article, we discuss how small businesses quite often fall to data leaks, phishing, financial loss, etc. to online hackers. Know the techniques used by such hackers, how you can protect your business from their activities and what tools aid you in this matter.

Establishing a business is a challenge. There are never-ending competition and industry expectations, which makes any entrepreneurial journey a struggle. Most business entities focus on the obvious challenges only and ignore hidden threats that might be bigger issues later down the line.

Cyber attacks are one of those pesky hidden threats that are becoming increasingly common. As technology evolves, the chances of cyber attacks are at an all-time peak. Unfortunately, large corporations aren't the only organizations at risk and it's important for small businesses to understand this. One survey found that 60% of small businesses encountered cyber attacks in 2017. Another study stated that around 43% of breaches were directed towards small entities; this percentage was even greater than the attacks on the financial industry, healthcare organizations, and the public sector units.

There are several reasons why small and medium-sized businesses are more vulnerable to hackers, scammers, and cyberattacks. Here's what you need to know:

Easy Targets

Large enterprises have large security budgets, making it difficult for hackers to penetrate their digital fortresses. On the other hand, small businesses don't have enough resources to handle security at such a high level. Instead of going for professional security regulations, small businesses prefer to depend on the skills of their staff to protect their systems. This makes them an easy and open target for hackers.

Sensitive (yet) Valuable Data

In today's day and age, data is king and hackers find and feed on valuable data. Their goal is to collect as much personal information available as possible to, typically to sell on the dark web later. Small business owners hold data on their employees and customers, which can include their health care records, credit card numbers, emails, and bank account details. All this information is a great asset in the eyes of hackers. Using a simple phishing scam, your team could easily be conned into forking over valuable data without a second thought.

Absence of Cybersecurity

Many small businesses don't believe they need an IT team or strong security protocols. Small business owners may not have the budget or know how to employ a professional team whose sole purpose is to protect the business and secure data. Lack of resources and funds are a big part of the reason why small businesses are so susceptible to hackers.

Security Measures for Small businesses

The theft and fraud in the digital world surpass physical theft and frauds. A recent report suggests that around 61% of small businesses have experienced cyber attacks in the past few years. You don't need to spend millions of dollars to protect your company, but there are some key practices that will ensure your business security for years to come.

1.Train your employees

Instead of hiring a separate team for your cybersecurity, train and prepare your existing team to combat and identify the potential cyber threats. The more educated your team, the better they'll perform. All you have to do is provide them with the resources to make the right decisions each day. For instance, have them take a security awareness training. Keep them aware of best practices, like maintaining strong passwords, using two-factor authentication, and not opening the emails and attachments that they do not know.

2. Value your data

Don't underestimate the importance of the data you carry for your clients and employees. Credit card information and other business documents contain valuable information and are the main target of hackers. Understand the value of your data and protect it accordingly. Create a copy of all your documents, spreadsheets, financial files, and databases regularly and use secure cloud platforms for your backups.

3. Software and third-party security
Install security software for all your systems and update them regularly. Your security software is your first line of defence against cyberattacks. If you handle sensitive data, consider hiring a third-party team to manage all your security needs. Know when to outsource your tasks. For example, if you're hiring a software development team to create a loyalty app, ask them how they plan to manage security within the app. A great team understands how to use GoProxy to ensure builds are secure, how to document security policies, and how to patch systems and software.

4. Secure your internet connection
Your next step should be to protect all your connected devices; this includes your mobile phones and home devices for remote employees. Install a firewall that will prevent outsiders from accessing your data through an insecure internet connection. You can download the free firewall available online.


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