How small businesses can be protected from cyberattack
Small businesses who aren’t well-prepared for cyberattacks and cybercrime are faced with a constant challenge as they adapt to the digital world and respond to consumer demand.
There are Digital Tools That Can Help Protect You From Cyberattack
The advent of digital tools can help businesses compete in today’s highly competitive marketplace. New technologies are available in various areas of the business environment to assist in solving the increasing problems that business owners are facing.
Businesses and employees are able to handle high volumes of business work or manage customer relations better with the help of new technologies. They can be used to protect your business from the evil actors lurking on the web.
One of the most difficult aspects of the transition to digital ecosystem is also a costly one.
Recent years have seen a rise in cyber-attacks by bad actors that has led to businesses seeing a growing threat that could threaten their operations and possibly cost them a lot to resolve.
Cybersecurity and online data security should be considered as one of the key strategic solutions to improving business performance.
According to recent statistics, data breaches cost an average of $4.35million in 2022. This is an increase over the previously reported average of $4.24million.
Although data breaches cost may vary by industry, healthcare and medicine had the highest average cost.
There are a staggering number of cyberattacks and data breaches.
A staggering price tag for data breaches has forced small and large businesses to quickly take action to stop any future attacks.
A report published in 2021 reveals that small businesses have been targeted by hackers and other cybercriminals. According to the report 42% of businesses were attacked by cybercriminals last year. The report also revealed that 69% percent of small business professionals were concerned about future cyberattacks.
While 72% have started to prepare their digital operations for an attack, many professionals still think their businesses are too small or out-of-sight of cyber criminals.
Cyber security is not a priority for 26% of small business owners. However, this will change in the future as technology adoption and increased internet usage will increase the threat to small businesses.
The other problem is that many small businesses and startups don’t have enough money to purchase high-end cybersecurity systems.
Professionists can spend anywhere from $1,300 up to $3,000 for a high or medium-tier security system.
Although it is a percentage, it means that the company dedicates between 0.2% – 0.9% of its revenue for cybersecurity. These figures can be devastating to small business owners like yourself. They could force them to make budget cuts or adjust their budget to invest in online security.
Types of cyberattack
With the exponential growth in online commerce and digital technology, coupled with remote work and virtual office access, cyberattacks on businesses are getting more severe each year.
Despite technological advancements, the Internet of Things(IoT), and basic computer software capabilities being available, it was found that human error still remains the largest cause of cyberattacks. This is due in part to insufficient training and knowledge about cybersecurity and cybercrime.
Small businesses are still most vulnerable to human error when it comes cybersecurity. But, there are other types of threats:
This is malicious software which infects a computer with spyware, ransomware, worms, or other malware. Malware attacks comprise the most widespread cyber attacks.
Another common threat is malicious links and email. Once opened, a malware virus is then distributed to the computer’s operating system.
Hackers could gain access to a company’s online platforms, and other valuable information, by cracking the password of a portal or account. Anyone should always use a strong and complicated password, especially when multiple accounts are linked to the same servers.
A common issue among companies and businesses is the infiltration of servers and networks by attackers to exhaust the bandwidth. Once the system has become overwhelmed, or exhausted, it will tend to slow down, or even shut down completely. The server and network are then compromised.
These are just the top cyberattacks known and most commonly seen. An attack online can strike any small business that uses social media sites or any eCommerce website. It takes usually a few days for someone to notice that an online attack has occurred.
What can small businesses do for cyber security?
A growing number of cyber threats can make it difficult for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startup owners, to know the difference between good actors and bad actors.
By being prepared, you can help protect your business, employees, as well as customers. To help protect your business from cybercrime, take a look at the tips below.
Educate, inform and train employees
You don’t have to run a small business with just one, two, or three employees. It is a good idea to talk to your frontline personnel about the dangers of cyberattacks. Even if the company is small, you should still take the time to learn about potential weaknesses in your cybersecurity system.
Your company’s cybersecurity could be at its most vulnerable. The best way to protect your business is to ensure employees don’t log into social networks or visit websites on their personal computers.
You can also establish a password policy for employees that requires them to password-protect their work devices. The policy must be maintained regularly. You can start by ensuring that employees recognize suspicious online activity.
Limit employee data access
It is possible to restrict employees’ access and use of business-related data as part of your cyber security education.
Even though you may be a small business owner, giving unlimited access for one or two employees to all customer information and business information is not a good idea. Being able to restrict what employees can access, enter, or download makes it easier for you as the business owner to control and monitor what data sets are being accessed and by whom and for what purposes.
Make sure to update your software and security systems
It’s important that you check whether your personal computer, which is frequently used in business-related activities during the early stages, has an anti-virus program or at minimum anti-spyware.
This is the most basic level in security for any type computer. However, as your company grows and adds more devices, it’s important to update systems regularly. Secure your business with strong protection from bad actors who might hack it, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and computers.
Cloud storage can be used
In recent years online cloud storage has taken over servers and other hardware networks which were used to store information and data. Although many businesses still rely on these hardware tools, advances in technology have allowed for a safer alternative.
Cloud storage allows for you to directly upload and save any information, make multiple sharing connections, enhance virtual and remote work capabilities, and create a mobile-friendly working environment for remote workers.
Cloud storage is also much more stable and offers 24-hour cybersecurity protection. It is possible to monitor cloud activity and spot suspicious activities.
Regular cybersecurity assessments
You can also conduct regular cybersecurity assessments on your devices. This is an intelligent and cost-effective approach to improving cybersecurity systems. This is typically relatively straightforward, especially if there are basic computer security programs or if you have the necessary skills.
This will help you monitor the performance of your devices and can also identify potential threats to your device.
Computer security programs usually include an assessment tool. If you don’t have access to one, you can find trusted online tools.
Configure customer data protection
Any small business that is online using social media, or a website, will need to implement some sort of customer data security to protect their client’s personal data.
For instance, you can limit which employees have access and in what capacity to use customer information.
The second is to use a customer relations management system that has been trusted by the sector and provides reliable protection against hackers.
Limit the amount and type of information that is stored on network servers or devices to ensure accessibility.
Customers can feel safe knowing that their data is secure.
Plan a response
In the event of a cyberattack or data breach, it is advisable to have a prepared response plan. If you are unsure about how to prepare a response plan in the event of an attack or data breach, consult a professional.
Employees may also benefit from a preparedness plan in the case of an attack. It is a way for business owners to ensure that they are adequately prepared and have taken the necessary steps.
To end off
Cybercrime is a serious threat to your business and employees. As such, it is best to be prepared. A strong focus on protecting data and information will ensure that all channels of your company are protected. Additionally, it will ensure that the appropriate protocols are in place for dealing with any cybercrime.
Your business does not have to be small to be at risk of being hacked. Cybercrime is becoming a greater threat to businesses of all sizes. Business owners will be more expensive to deal with cybercrime if bad actors are more innovative and skilled.
Cybersecurity is both a long-term and permanent investment that should always be considered. It will save you time and money as well as keep your information safe and secure.