Why Your Small Business Isn’t Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

If you’ve started a small business, there’s a possibility that you haven’t invested much time and money into cybersecurity protection measures

Well, what’s the point, right? There are much bigger fish to catch, so why would criminals target you?

As it turns out, smaller businesses are more prone to cybersecurity attacks and the statistics are appalling. According to a 2019 Verizon report, it seems that small businesses fall victim to 43% of cyber breaches.

Because small businesses store transactional and valuable customer data combined with low security measures, cyber criminals are eager for you or your staff to slip up. 

What happens when valuable data gets stolen?

Worst case scenario is that these data will be sold on the dark web and be used for identity fraud. Identity Guard mentions that a common item found for sale on the dark web is personal identifiable information.

When there’s a cyber breach, you lose your customer’s trust. They would jump to a competitor and it would be an uphill battle to restore your reputation. We haven’t even begun with the lawsuits you’re about to face.

In this article, we’ll take a look at two common forms of cybersecurity attacks and why your business might not be safe from them.

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a malware or malicious software that aims to extort money from its victims. These attacks usually come in the form of an e-mail attachment which the victim downloads. 

Suddenly, the victim finds himself not able to access files as it becomes locked and encrypted, and a sum of money is demanded so that the data is restored. 

If you’re running a small business, it’s vital that you and your employees are equipped with the right knowledge. Think twice before opening unexpected links from emails, and be sure to have good endpoint protection. 

One ransomware attack can cost a small business an average of $116,000

Even if you can afford to pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you’ll retrieve all your files. Smaller businesses may not have the resources to enrol employees in cybersecurity training and are prone to these attacks.

Phishing

This is perhaps the most widespread form of cyber attack to target small businesses. In fact, almost 90% of all cyber attacks organizations face are from phishing activities. 

This happens when an attacker pretends to be a trusted party (bank, advertiser, client, etc) and lures its victim into clicking a malicious link or downloading a malicious attachment.

If the link is clicked, the victim will be brought into a legitimate landing page requesting for information. If the attachment is downloaded, a malware is installed and highly valuable data is stolen that way.

As a small business, be sure to update your software frequently. The obvious ones are your operating system, antivirus, and firewall. Also, constant reminders to employees go a long way. Teach them to double check links and ensure they are encrypted before putting any information in.

Chung Nguyen