Small businesses have been significantly affected by cybersecurity attacks, and they are always getting news updates about someone being hacked or threats of being hacked. Some have already been victims where someone tried to access their business information, or get access to their accounts to steal money. As a small business focusing on growth and expansion, the threats harm the businesses and finances. Some business owners work hard to protect their business against any potential disasters through cybersecurity, but cybercriminals are becoming more and more advanced and determined to get into their systems.
There are various types of cybersecurity threats, and some are easy to detect while others are becoming harder to identify as they are complicated and challenging. At the same time, some methods are being used to combat these cybersecurity threats no matter how they get smarter. As a small business owner, it is important to take adequate measures to protect your data systems and information against security threats. Below are some of the top cybersecurity threats that will crush your business and what you can do to stop them:
This is malicious software that attacks and locks your computer system until you can pay a ransom. Most companies have paid the ransom to gain access to their computer information, and it is said that victims have paid a lot of money to the hackers. Some of the popular ransom encryption programs are CTB-Locker, TorrentLocker and CryptoWall and hackers are getting more advanced each day to outsmart any protection on the computers.
Protecting your business against any attack will require you to have the right IT provider. You can protect your computer against this malware by:
- Regularly updating your software and operating system because you get protected when you updated to the newest versions.
- Back up your files regularly to an external disk or DropBox so that it is easy to access them just in case you are locked out.
- Use email security solutions and teach users about suspicious links, phishing scams, and malicious attachments.
- Use antivirus and antimalware software to protect against any malware and virus attacks that could destroy your system.
- Understanding your security posture and remediating known issues (VAPT).
- Phishing Attacks
These are e-mail-based attacks, and they are found in the inboxes where the hackers will send legitimate emails. Their primary goal is for the user to give up personal information, credit card numbers, login credentials or account numbers willingly. The emails can also ask you to click on a link which goes to some URL hence causing a security breach.
The emails have been designed not to look suspicious as they have returning addresses, logos from a trusted company hence causing someone to reply.
The best ways to guard you against this threat is by:
- Educating users and making them aware of the suspicious emails and that they should report anything that seems suspicious in their inbox.
- Pay attention to the links that you click on because it may be hard to unravel yourself once you are redirected. If you do click or have used your username and password in some suspicious site, immediately change all your passwords.
- Don’t use weak passwords on Facebook, Gmail or online banking and ensure that they are different for each site. If you use one similar password, it will be easy for the hackers to gain access to all your accounts. Every few months change your passwords.
- Human beings
Hackers will use other human beings to break into your system through phishing scams and social engineering. Vulnerable employees may accidentally share passwords, download malware, forward an email that has confidential information and through these, the hackers will find it easier and faster to hack into your systems. All they need is to get trust and manipulate someone to steal their identity.
You can stop this attack through:
- Asking your employees not to share their passwords with anyone, no matter their relationship. They need to be careful with whom they interact with on social media platforms
- Teach employees how to recognize any scam emails and malware so that they don’t download them. Let them know how important it is not to share any information from the business.
- They should use strong passwords to access their emails and change their passwords after a few months. Change the password of the Wi-Fi router often too.
This is a way that hackers are using to get Ransomware and malware into your computer systems and it is done through online advertising. The hackers buy web advertisements, and they put malicious codes on them, and when you open the advertisement, your server will download explore kits which will scan your software and machine for any vulnerabilities and hence attack it by use of malware. These advertisements are mostly found on online sites that are highly reputable, and one may click on them without being suspicious of anything.
You can stop malvertising attacks on your computer by:
- Use specialized malware protection instead of ad blockers because ad blockers don’t protect against all malware. Malware protection such as DNS blackholing technology and Strongarm will prevent the ads from appearing on your browser and also protect you from other types of malware.
- Delete any plug-ins that you don’t use and set the ones that you use on click-to-play, and this will ensure that you get a notification on the screen when you load a web page that wants to load a plug-in. At times it is best to do without the plug-ins.
- Use secure firewalls or antivirus that can’t be attacked by the malvertising as it identifies and neutralizes the explore kits. You may install a program such a Malwarebyte, Anti-Exploit which will monitor the browser ad plug-in operation and then block any exploit kits that cause security threats.
- Update your browsers, operating systems and plug-ins regularly. Not updating results to a vulnerability of which the explore kits can find them.