How to Prevent Small Businesses From Cyber Attacks?
Any assault activity performed by cybercriminals is called a cyber attack. It is a process in which a criminal uses one or more computers against a single or multiple computer networks. Through a cyberattack, a computer network is disabled maliciously and attackers can steal data. They can even get control over a computer and use it as a launch point for other attacks to hide their identity. Usually, cybercriminals use different methods to launch a cyber-attack, such as malware, phishing, Ransomware, etc.
Another way to put that would be this: A cyber attack is a targeted attempt by an individual to crack the security system of another organization or individual. That is nothing but unauthorized access to information. A person who attempts this activity is known as a hacker or a cybercriminal. These cyber-attacks have become quite frequent in recent times. To prevent these cyber crimes or threats, every company or organization needs to invest more in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is nothing but an activity that assists in securing various digital components such as networks, databases, and computer systems from unauthorized digital access. Cyber attacks are usual issues for large businesses, but they are heavy on small-scale businesses. Here are some reasons which make small businesses prone to the cyber threat.
Why are Small Businesses More Exposed to Cyber-Attacks?
However, cybercriminals or hackers do not have any bias towards the size of the organization. But unfortunately, small businesses are endangered and at high risk. Small business owners need to face hardships from all aspects. Among those aspects, cyber-security may get neglected. The damage caused by cyber-attacks can be so great that it may lead to the sudden closing of organizations. The main motive for cybercriminals is to extract important business information from firms unlawfully. The extracted information may be used to cause harm to the firm or to make some quick cash. Previous records showed that about 60 percent of small to medium-scale businesses went out of their business due to these cyber issues. Small and medium scale businesses almost focus on their clients or customers and their revenues. One of the common reasons for cyberattacks on small businesses is the unplanned security infrastructure, which makes them vulnerable to attackers.
Sources for Cyber Attacks
The rapid digitization and moreover this pandemic has forcefully switched everyone to the digital platforms. Somehow, this is the same happened with small and medium scale businesses. Small businesses start their business online to compete with the growing world and beware of these cyber attacks. According to the survey, most hackers perform cyber-attacks through email scams, phishing attempts from malware software. Sensitive data of the customers in the organization like hospital records, insurance records, bank account details, and so on, cybercriminals get from attacks. Cyber-attacks involving small businesses are mainly for the reason of making money rather than causing harm. From the business perspective, payrolls of clients or employees are more exposed to cyber-attack. It is good to keep an eye on the online platforms where the business website link exists. Here are the most used cyberattacks: malware attacks, phishing attacks, the man in the middle, tax password attacks. Malware attacks can occur in the system through any suspicious document or downloads. Cybercriminals get login and credit card credentials through phishing. The man in the middle method is mainly used by the hacker to directly get access to the targeted device and website server through the targeted device IP address. However, cyber-attacks happen on individual computers or a group of computers that runs an organization. Small organizations, healthcare services, government agencies, and highly famous educational institutions are often prone to these attacks. These corporations space the threads in the form of advanced persistent threats (APT). This APT allows hackers to access the network to collect confidential data. To prevent future cyberattacks, one should cultivate some security practices. Those practices include
- The use of firewalls that filter the incoming and outgoing data of an organization.
- Using honeypots, systems in an organization are safe all the year because honeypots detect attacks and act accordingly to save the systems.
- Try to maintain unique passwords and software according to the system.
Security Strategies To Protect Businesses
- The first step to defending against cyber-attacks is to prevent them from a cautious environment. That is not possible all the time, so isolate infected machines and maintain rapid detection methods.
- Hire the expertise to monitor cybersecurity activities and train the employees by exposing them to the security maintenance activities and policies.
- The head should monitor the privacy of customer details by unique passwords and with quality internet services within the organization.
- Keep the computer systems clean and up to date by using the latest software versions.
- Scan and update the systems frequently to safeguard them from internal bugs.
- Maintain the backup copies of crucial data such as documents, Excel sheets, account details, and strategies.
- Including and maintaining a cybersecurity insurance plan.
- A secure Wi-Fi network helps in maintaining quality internet services inside the organization.
- Isolate the transactions from any less secure platforms to prevent access to the main system by any means.
- Do not give permission to install the OS and any other software in the main system to every employee. Only let experts handle it safely.
- Small business owners must adopt a series of qualification questions to cross-check the possibilities of cybersecurity decisions.
- Explore the operational strategies of the information of developed companies through multiple case studies.
- Data analysis by thematic analysis is effective leadership, cyber hygiene awareness, reliance on other party vendors, and cybersecurity training.
These may result in business development and consumer confidence through maintaining personal and confidential information. Monitor the database and security systems from the top to the root, as a security system avoids cyber attacks on the organization.
Effects of Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses
However, the impact of cyberattacks is high on businesses, but these factors such as cost, time, and reputation are highly stressful.
- Time: Time is vital for any business and cyber-attacks on any firm may result in loss of data which can hamper the proper functioning of the services. Moreover, it takes a lot of time to recover and store the data securely.
- Cost: Hackers get beneficial through these cyber-attacks, but the owners tend to face financial hardships. The organization may lose its sales and shares. The organization needs to pay a lot of money to the experts to recover from the loss. The recovery cost can sometimes be so huge that it results in the shutting down of the firm.
- Reputation matters a lot for a company that is developing. In addition to the adverse effects on cost and time, cyberattacks also have negative effects on reputation. This loss of reputation will break down the trust in the existing customers.
Small businesses have shut their organizations down due to the adverse effects of these cyber attacks. Finally, it is crucial to have continuous monitoring of the transactions in the Organisation on the digital platform.
This pandemic has flipped everyone’s lifestyle. Moreover, cyber hygiene is also affected. Cybercriminals and ethical professionals are gifted with enough time to strengthen their knowledge. This time improve the cyber hygiene and security strategies. That collective force improves strategies to control cyber damage. In addition to these measures, individual cybersecurity helps to prevent breaches.