The 5 Top Cybersecurity Threats To Small Businesses

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The threat of a cybersecurity breach will keep any business owner up at night. Cybersecurity isn’t part of the day-to-day routine for most entrepreneurs and business leaders. With businesses adjusting to the pandemic economy by creating e-commerce sales channels, sending employees home to work, and leaning on technology for faster communication, the threat of a breach is more significant than ever. Here are the top cybersecurity threats that small businesses need to protect against.

Top Cybersecurity Threats To Small Businesses

As a custom software developer and consultant, cybersecurity is part of every project we take on. The protection of your information and your customers’ data is a matter of technically locking down your systems (hardware and software) and using your team to be protectors against attacks through processes and training.

In working with our clients, we have identified the top cybersecurity threats to small business and those include the following:

  1. Phishing: Email and SMS-based phishing (also known as smishing) schemes try to get unwary users to voluntarily give up their sensitive data. A phishing scheme typically involves a user receiving an email or text message asking for account verification. The linked site and form looks almost identical to the user’s account portal for that vendor. However, it’s a fake, designed to gather username, password, and other sensitive information. Your employees may unknowingly open a door to your data, systems, and networks if they’re not on the lookout for phishing schemes.

  2. Ransomware and Malware: Ransomware is a subset of the category “Malware.” There are several additional types of malware out there including viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, and more. If it has “ware” on the end of it, it’s probably malware. These threats make their way into your computers and systems through email attachments, thumb drives, and nefarious websites. Then they open up doors for the hackers to come in and get the data and information they’re after.

  3. Employees and Their Devices: With employees moving to remote working positions due to the pandemic, new cybersecurity vulnerabilities have caught many businesses by surprise. When an employee logs into your network from home, they introduce new ways for hackers to get in, too, including thermostats and doorbells. Additionally, employees are using their own devices (bring your own device - BYOD), which takes security control away from the business. Finally, employees themselves are serious threats to security. A bad actor can grant hackers access or sell Intellectual Property (IP). Their personal lack of cybersecurity can make its way into your networks if they’re using the same passwords on their personal accounts. Finally, they can accidentally share sensitive information and customer data by sending info to the wrong email address or by giving access to the wrong people.

  4. The Cloud: Cybersecurity for cloud-based services (SaaS) is like a parachute. When it works, all is good, but one small defect can be catastrophic. Just ask users of Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and Microsoft. Once a hacker breaks into a cloud, they may be able to gain access to everyone’s data. These days, nearly everything is on the cloud, from phone services to banking to every-day software.

  5. Hacking: Hackers are still a significant threat. These are the programmers and engineers with bad intentions. They develop tools -- bots -- that do the work for them in finding vulnerable computers and networks on the internet. Then, they exploit those vulnerabilities to get in. They breach security openings caused by weak passwords, old or outdated code, and insecure hardware.

Thumbnail - Resource: Cybersecurity Checklist

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Start creating your cybersecurity strategy with our free checklist to evaluate your risk.

Thumbnail - Resource: Cybersecurity Checklist

Download Our Checklist

Start creating your cybersecurity strategy with our free checklist to evaluate your risk.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Business?

The first step is to assess the situation. Identify the points of vulnerability in both technology and personnel. You can use our cybersecurity checklist to do a preliminary review. From there, we can help you put together a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

Contact us now to get started.