Some small business owners are under the mistaken impression that cyber security is only for larger enterprises. They often think, “why would a hacker want to attack my little business, when there are larger enterprises with more money and data to steal?” The reality is that small businesses are attacked often, they just don’t generate headlines the way larger businesses do. Unlike those large enterprises, 60% of small businesses will permanently close 6 months after a data breach. To avoid having your business close, read about the 6 big cyber security risks putting small companies out of business, along with tips on how you can minimize that risk.
- Hackers Attack Weak Targets
Like schoolyard bullies, hackers will prey on what they consider to be easy, weak targets. Often, SMBs are not prepared to deal with common malware attacks. Hackers know this and will focus their attacks on SMBs, as it is much easier than attacking a large enterprise that has a big budget to spend on staff and software.
- Island Hopping
Island hopping has nothing to do with going on a tropical vacation. It’s a term used to describe how hackers target smaller companies to find a way into larger companies. The hope is that the smaller company will have vulnerabilities they can exploit to break into a larger organization that they work with. If you are wondering why the hacker wouldn’t just attack the larger company, the reality is, that it will cost a hacker more money and time to get through the larger enterprise’s defences first. It is much more cost-effective to target a weaker partner firm and try to gain access that way.
- Failing to Patch Systems Regularly
Most SMBs don’t have the resources to patch systems regularly, which can leave some serious security holes in their systems. Hackers are counting on SMBs leaving some of these known vulnerabilities unpatched and will exploit them to enter your network. The Equifax hack is the best-known example of an unpatched vulnerability that was exploited. Even large companies are vulnerable to this type of threat. All businesses need a regular patch schedule that will help ensure that vulnerabilities sit open for too long.
- Spear Phishing
Phishing is a common tactic for stealing passwords, security codes, and other sensitive data. It is also an effective way of installing malware and ransomware onto personal devices and company systems. While we hope most people have become aware of such scams, the hackers are also becoming smarter, and are using more targeted Spear Phishing campaigns to steal information or money from SMBs. With spear phishing, the hackers will often make the emails more personal, and look like they are coming from someone within your organization that you trust.
- Use of Unsupported Software
Many SMBs, particularly smaller law firms, continue to use old software which may no longer be supported with regular security updates. While you may think there is no harm in continuing to use Windows XP, because it still works, it may have a vulnerability that can be exploited. If your systems aren’t patched regularly or are no longer supported, you could provide a hacker with access to systems.
- Lack of Cybersecurity Expertise
A lack of cybersecurity resources is a big problem for many organizations, but for SMBs, it’s huge. To counter this type of challenge, SMBs hire a cybersecurity firm to help them manage this area of the business.
The above risks could potentially put a small business like yours out of business. If any of these 6 things are worrying you, contact the experts at QuickProtect. Our services are tailored to protect your SMB just like an enterprise without an enterprise budget.