Often, small businesses think they must be bigger for cybercriminals to target. This mindset is dangerous, as a single attack can cost a small business its reputation, money and customers. Attacks on small and medium-sized enterprises have climbed steadily in recent years. Criminals choose them for several reasons: they’re easier to access, have fewer cybersecurity protections in place and are unlikely to attract the same level of media or law enforcement attention as attacks on larger companies.
Lack of Knowledge
As the COVID-19 pandemic drew close, many small businesses returned to daily operations. Unfortunately, the long-term survival of these organizations is likely out of their hands without a respectable cybersecurity program in place. Cyberattacks are more common than ever, and small businesses can be especially vulnerable. They have less money and fewer resources and often need more cybersecurity training. They are also more susceptible to social engineering, phishing attacks, scam calls and other malicious activity that can lead to data breaches. These breaches cost companies thousands of dollars in ransom payments, lost productivity, legal fees, regulatory filings and customer defections. It is important to refresh employee cybersecurity training regularly. The sooner they learn about common vulnerabilities and how to protect against them, the better. WorkSmart can help keep your systems safe and minimize the impact of an attack.
Lack of Resources
Small business owners often need more resources to invest in cybersecurity. Many don’t even have cyber insurance. It makes them a perfect target for hackers, who can spoof their identity and take control of computers that store data. Criminals can use a compromised small business as an entry point to bigger companies. For example, a hacker may target a small business providing large corporations with air-conditioning, cleaning or engineering services. That way, the criminal can access the larger company’s supply chain. Small businesses need to be more generous in financing cybersecurity and create and implement security procedures ingrained in the company culture. If they don’t, they’ll keep being targets of cyberattacks that might cost them money in lost data, legal bills, investigations, regulatory filings, and negative press.
Lack of a Plan
Cyberattacks occur when criminals hack into a business’ digital systems. They can use these attacks to cause financial harm, steal information or disrupt normal business operations. They can also harm a business’s reputation and drive customers to lose faith in it. Cybercriminals target small businesses because they know these companies are less likely to have strong cybersecurity measures. They often need to gain more knowledge of security software or other steps they should take to protect their business. This lack of preparedness exposes them to phishing, malware and ransomware attacks. Small businesses must protect their business by creating a cybersecurity plan and following key strategies, such as having a password policy, running regular computer updates, securing Wi-Fi and backing up data. A small business can prevent a cyberattack and avoid the following devastating consequences by taking simple steps.
Cyberattacks are a reality for every business, big or small. But for smaller companies, the impact can be devastating and often leads to the business failing. Many small businesses are unsure where to start when it comes to cybersecurity. They may follow outdated advice, such as not shopping on coffee shop Wi-Fi, which no longer protects against the most common threats. A cyberattack can be costly for any business, but if a small business experiences one, it can have lasting repercussions on the company’s reputation and pricing structure. It can also lead to a loss in revenue, legal liabilities and other issues that can be difficult to recover from. That’s why small businesses need to take steps to protect themselves against cyberattacks.
Regardless of the industry, experience level or professionalism – everyone makes mistakes. Errors are sometimes unavoidable and can have severe consequences. These can be broken down into two categories: action errors and thinking errors. Small businesses often use weak passwords and don’t update their software regularly, making them easy targets for cybercriminals looking to steal personal information or money. Attacks may include ransomware, stolen credentials, phishing emails or malicious texts. Small business owners need to understand the dangers of cyberattacks, and they should prepare accordingly. They should mandate strong passwords, use auto-updating software and make it mandatory for employees to participate in cybersecurity training.