Online security can be tough to manage without adequate awareness. The top targets of cybercrime don’t even realize that they’re victims.
Researchers found four common themes in security breach cases. The first theme is small businesses are overconfident, yet underprepared when it comes to getting hit by cybercrimes. Second, medium-sized companies have a better grasp of their cybersecurity. They also found that consumers often underestimate their exposure to cybercrime risks. Lastly, small business owners don’t even know about the potential vulnerabilities of their network.
The Cost of Cyberattacks
Only 37 percent of them realized that they were at risk of falling victim to attacks. About 17 percent stated that they had cyber liability insurance. More than half of them said that they didn’t offer cybersecurity training for their workers. This is troubling news because according to last year’s Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon, almost half of cyber attacks target small businesses. It also stated that SMBs are mostly targeted specifically because they’re severely unprepared for attacks.
The cost of hacks and breaches can put a small enterprise to its knees, especially during this pandemic. According to a report by Hiscox, cyber attacks can cost SMBs up to $200,000. This is why over 60% of small enterprises hit by cyber attacks shut down within a year. The financial losses are just way too much. And not to mention that they also lose the trust of their customers in the process.
Prepare for the Worst
Now that more and more SMBs are starting to embrace digital solutions for their business processes, it’s more vital than ever for owners and employees to be aware of the security risks that come with them as well. Here are ways to minimize your business’ risks of getting hacked.
Get the Latest Updates
One of the easiest ways for attackers to gain access to your system is through software and driver exploits and vulnerabilities. These are weak points in a program’s code that a hacker can exploit to gain access to a business’s computer and even the whole network. A report by cybersecurity firm Tripwire found that over one in three data breaches are caused by exploited and unpatched vulnerabilities. This means that updates that there are updates that fix these issues, but administrators don’t install them until it’s too late.;
Work with your IT team or consultant to make sure that every device in your network has the latest software and firmware. If your devices are behind on updates, take your time in installing the latest patches. This goes for every piece of hardware in your network, including your video surveillance system. If you’re using a brand like Dahua, make sure to contact an authorized dealer about updates for their firmware. You’ll never know when an attacker will strike.
Improve Your Passwords and Authentication Methods
Setting up a password is a reliable and easy way to keep your devices protected from unauthorized personnel. However, if your passwords are too weak, attackers can easily guess them or use special software to use millions of different password combinations to brute force their way into your system. Have your workers improve their company passwords into stronger ones by following these guidelines:
- Make it longer than eight characters. If possible, create one with over 15 characters
- Mix uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers
- Don’t create passwords related to your personal information, like your birthday
- Don’t use sequential characters like qwerty and 1234
You should also add another layer of authentication to make it harder for hackers to get into your system. One way to do this is to use one-time PINs sent directly to your and your workers’ phones via SMS or an app. Only you can see these PINs, so attackers still won’t be able to get in even if they guess your password.;
Back it Up
Every day your company creates, processes, and stores important business data. If you only keep these on a single hard drive or server, a single breach can easily wipe them out. Regularly back your documents up on the cloud. Cloud storage involves uploading your data to an off-site storage server from an external provider through the internet. This lets you access and download your files anytime and anywhere, even if the hard drive on your company computers get wiped.
Look for a provider that offers scalable solutions, so you don’t have to worry about losing storage space. Make sure that they employ strong encryption methods so attackers won’t be able to intercept your data as you upload them to the cloud.;
A single cyber attack can cause your business to lose a lot of money and your customers’ trust. As such, you should make sure your small enterprise is always ready for possible breaches and hacking attempts. Use these suggestions as a checklist to keep your business’s digital assets safe and secure.