Is your small business vulnerable to cybercrime?
Cybercrime of a small business is the illegal act of using a computer to hack into the computer network of a small business to steal private information such as trade secrets, identities, passwords, intellectual property, or other types of information. Sometimes, these cyberattacks aren’t to steal information, but to simply remove or even change the information with the purpose of damaging that business.
Since most small businesses don’t consider themselves likely targets of cyberattacks, they have few safeguards against this type of crime. It is this false sense of security that makes those businesses vulnerable, and cybercriminals consider them ‘soft’ targets. Because most businesses use the Internet in some aspect of their daily operations, they are potential targets if they don’t take precautions against cyber attacks. In recent months, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to operate remotely, and this makes it even easier for cybercriminals to attack a small business.
BullGuard, a company that produces cybersecurity software, has conducted research showing that only 43% of US and UK SMBs (small to medium businesses) have a cybersecurity plan. A surprising 74% of Americans don’t use a Virtual Private Network for their Wi-Fi, which would be a substantial safeguard for privacy and security. And when a small business does get breached, they typically end up paying an average of $10,000+ to fix the damages from the cyber attack. Businesses that are victims of cyber attacks are often forced to shut their doors for good because they can’t recover from the resulting damage of the attack.
How are businesses getting cyber attacked?
Cybercriminals use hundreds of methods to steal, copy, or erase information from a small, and they are coming up with new methods every day. Here are a few ways cybercriminals can attack your business.
Common Types of Cybercrime
A botnet is a device that can allow a hacker access to a company’s computer network and send spam, steal information, and perform malicious activities with the intent of creating harm to a business.
This is the practice of flooding a business network with an enormous amount of Internet traffic. When the network goes down, the cybercriminal hacks into their system.
It is a known fact that humans are one of the weakest links when it comes to cybersecurity. One popular cybercrime technique is called phishing and involves sending fraudulent emails disguised as being from a reputable bank or company with the intent of tricking someone into entering their username, password, and credit card numbers (such as website admin panel password) into a fake login form.
PUPs means Potentially Unwanted Programs and are a type of malware that will uninstall software in a company’s computer system while installing spyware or adware.
Little or No Prevention Practices
Some companies have no prevention cybercrime practices in place, leaving them vulnerable to a multitude of ways they can be cyber attacked. One of the worst things small businesses can do is not having sufficient preventative security software. Wikipedia lists 18 different types of software that will prevent a variety of cybercrimes depending n the specific needs of your small business.
Ways to Prevent Cyber Crimes
In addition to using cybersecurity software, adopting a few preventative methods and practices is an inexpensive, relatively easy way to fend off cyberattacks. Here are some tips to keep your small business safe:
Log off from your computer when you are not on it. This keeps others from accessing your information.
Train employees on how to spot and dispose of unsolicited emails, links, and attachments.
If anything looks suspicious, delete it! This includes emails, posts, tweets, and advertisements.
Don’t share your personal information unless absolutely necessary.
Have scheduled trainings at specific times (first Monday of every month).
Be careful using public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals can steal your private information, and you won’t even realize it.
Always make backups and duplicates of the company’s files and data in case they are stolen and held for ransom.
Scan and monitor devices that are connected to the computer network on a routine basis.
Don’t use the same PINs and passwords for all of your sign-in fields. Switch it up and keep them in a secure spot.
Don’t leave your computer online when you are doing off-line work.
Require multiple forms of authentication
Prohibit removable media devices that can record data and easily be removed.
Only allow employees to access information that is required for their current tasks.
Engage in role-playing intended to prevent and recognize scams and fraudulent requests.
Install cybercrime’s protection software including encryption tools, antivirus and malware software, and a network firewall.
No one will ever be up to stop all cybercriminal activity, but following these steps will help prevent easily preventable computer crimes and threats and potentially save your company from devastating financial losses. If you need a small business loan to purchase cybersecurity software for your small business, please call Affinity beyond Capital at (833) 234-6489 or visit our website.