Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Threats

Cyber-attacks are not limited to big businesses. Over recent years, small businesses have increasingly become targets, as their lack of strong I.T. security leaves small businesses vulnerable. As hackers attempt to acquire more consumer data from small businesses, business owners need to understand the different cyber-attacks to defend against them. 

Use this guide to understand the types of cyber-attacks and how to prevent them. 

Types of Cyber-Attacks  

Hackers use a variety of methods in attempts to take over an entire network. In this scenario, hackers will gain access to valuable business data or have the ability to control network actions (i.e., deleting files). Knowing the top tricks hackers use will help you teach your team about cyber-attacks while saving you time and frustration. Most frequently, hackers will use the following tactics to obtain data, especially from small businesses:

  • Sending phishing emails that include "urgent" links. 
  • Sending phishing emails that include "important" attachments that must be downloaded.
  • Gaining network access through security gaps in outdated software and operating systems. 

Depending on the type of cyber-attack, hackers will gain access to business data or obtain control of assets.

The Outcome of a Cyber-Attack

Ransomware is typically planted on the computer if a user has been lured by phishing emails or web links. Ransomeware holds personal files hostage, keeping users from documents, photos, financial data, and more. Users are often locked out of their files and network access, while hackers have the ability to download, use, or sell the user's data. In addition, hackers will hold a business's data for ransom in other scenarios, demanding significant payments via cryptocurrencies. However, this is not the only outcome of a cyber-attack. 

Cyber-attacks can result in immense data breaches that lead to stolen identities or financial information. For example, if a user has their bank information stored on their device and clicks a link in a phishing email, malware may be installed, giving hackers access to the user's financial data. The data may be stolen or sold along with the finances.

By understanding the types of cyber-attacks and their outcomes, business owners may prevent attacks.

How to Prevent Cyber-Attacks

The most important ways to defend your small business against cyber-attacks are educating your team and auditing your tech. Use these quick tips to get started.

  1. Educate your employees on the types of cyber-attacks. Show them examples and how to identify phishing emails. 
  2. Require password updates every 60 to 90 days. Teach your employees how to create strong passwords. You can also use software, such as LastPass, to store passwords safely. 
  3. Use two-factor authentication to ensure high-profile apps and software are protected. 
  4. Regularly scan computers for viruses and use antivirus software. 
  5. Install software updates and new operating systems on time. 
  6. Audit your tech and log user access and updates.

Cyber-attacks are a major threat to small and large businesses alike. Regardless of size, businesses need to understand the types of cyber-attacks and how to improve their cybersecurity. Keep your business's data safe by educating your employees and auditing your tech.

Want to take your cybersecurity more seriously and develop an effective strategy for protecting your business information? Contact Assist today!