Despite the lack of media coverage, cyberattacks on small and medium-sized businesses pose a significant threat and have far-reaching consequences for professionals and the people they serve. The impact of these attacks is often greater on smaller businesses, as they may lack the backup and mitigation services commonly available to larger organisations.
SMBs are facing an existential threat, due to the rise in attack automation and supply-chain attacks targeting their IT service providers, making it more important than ever to look into SMB cyber security.
Numerous examples of cyberattacks on small businesses have demonstrated that hackers specifically target them because they often rely on free cybersecurity tools designed for consumers, rather than specialised solutions tailored for businesses. For this reason, this makes them at a higher risk of being a victim of cyber attacks that would otherwise be detected by businesses that have a more robust SMB cyber security infrastructure.
Fortunately, small businesses can adopt similar SMB cyber security tools employed by large companies to safeguard their employees, executives, customers, and a wide range of sensitive data. By implementing these measures, they can enhance their security posture and mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
Why Are SMBs at High Risk for Cybersecurity Threats?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) frequently become targets of cyberattacks due to possessing valuable information, customer data, and digital infrastructure, which are attractive to attackers in a manner similar to larger corporations.
For instance, many SMBs store significant volumes of customer payment data, making their systems enticing for hackers. If an attacker successfully breaches their defences, they can obtain a substantial payload. They may either exploit the data themselves for quick financial gain or sell it to other malicious actors.
SMB cyberattacks manifest in various forms, although certain types are more prevalent. Hackers often employ similar tactics utilised against larger organisations. Instead of using distinct tools for different company sizes, hackers may duplicate and reuse malicious code to launch identical attacks on multiple entities, having SMB cyber security can help to reduce the risks that SMBs come under.
This poses a significant challenge for SMBs since the attack methods employed are equally sophisticated to those targeting larger counterparts. The replication of attacks allows cybercriminals to expedite their assault, resulting in smaller businesses facing a barrage of advanced and coordinated attacks.
Types of Cyber Attacks That SMBs Are Most Exposed To?
Small and medium-sized businesses face a range of attacks, including malware, phishing, ransomware, and insider threats. Employing robust email security measures can significantly mitigate a considerable portion of external attacks, particularly those involving the dissemination of malicious links or content through email. However, certain types of email attacks, such as phishing scams and BEC, can be more challenging for SMB cyber security systems to detect.
Hackers engage in various types of attacks, driven by motives like financial gain, company sabotage, or simply the thrill of the challenge. The following attack methods are commonly employed:
- Viruses and other malware
- Insider threats
- Human error
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
5 Of The Best SMB Cybersecurity Measures
Ensuring employees possess a solid understanding of SMB cyber security threats and preventive measures is crucial since they often represent the weakest link in a company’s security chain. One important aspect is educating them about avoiding potential risks, such as refraining from connecting their mobile devices to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Conducting regular training sessions and familiarising all staff members with the SMB cyber security guidelines outlined in your company’s policy are effective methods to achieve this goal. By prioritising an employee’s SMB cyber security awareness, businesses can strengthen their overall security posture and reduce the likelihood of breaches.
Establishing strong passwords is a fundamental measure of SMB cyber security, although it may appear obvious. It is essential that employee accounts and other online services are protected with strong passwords.
To make passwords strong, it is essential to create unique and lengthy passwords that are too difficult to guess. As well as this you should opt for multi-factor authentication as this will strengthen the protection. Once you have implemented these measures, the hackers will find it much more difficult to steal any data.
Firewalls play a crucial role in SMB cyber security as they effectively safeguard networks by blocking unauthorised access and preventing malicious traffic from infiltrating the system. To maximise their effectiveness, it is vital to keep firewalls updated with the latest security patches and configurations.
Regular monitoring of firewalls is also essential to promptly identify and address any potential vulnerabilities or suspicious activities. Maintaining up-to-date and closely monitored firewalls, and businesses can significantly enhance their network security and defend against unauthorised intrusions.
Ensuring the installation of antivirus software on all systems is imperative in safeguarding against malware, ransomware, and other malicious programs. It is crucial to keep the antivirus software regularly updated to swiftly identify and mitigate new threats as they emerge.
By prioritising up-to-date antivirus software, businesses can effectively bolster their SMB cyber security mechanisms and protect their systems from potential security breaches.
Implementing regular data backups is essential for safeguarding your business against data loss caused by cyber attacks or system failures that may result in the theft or loss of valuable data. It is essential to establish a reliable backup plan for your SMB cyber security that includes storing backups both locally and remotely for enhanced protection.
By having a robust backup strategy in place, you can mitigate the potential impact of data breaches or system disruptions, ensuring that your critical information remains secure and accessible even in the face of unexpected incidents.
Cyberattacks on SMBs pose a significant threat and can have some drastic consequences. Cyberattacks will of course have a larger impact on smaller businesses due to the limited knowledge and lack of SMB cyber security solutions. It is important to prioritise SMB cyber security and put into place specific measures in order to protect sensitive data, employees and customers.
Once you have implemented these SMB cyber security measures, business can go on as normal and you won’t have to worry about all types of cyber attacks and threats. Speak to our cyber security consultants today and they can help you get your SMB cyber security sorted for you.