The multibillion cybercrime industry is in a boom as millions of small businesses move online, presenting new and easier prey. Cyber criminals are shifting their targets from big corporations to poorly-secured small businesses. If you haven’t been hit just yet, these are the key areas you should focus on when reinforcing your business online security strategies.
1. Phishing attacks
Have you ever encountered a suspicious text message or email asking you to click on a link and obtain certain rewards? It’s very likely that this was a phishing message. These messages masquerade as trusted contacts and entice your employees to click on a malicious link, download an unknown file, or use their credentials for registration. Once you fall for this ploy, these criminals will gain access to your network and connected devices.
Phishing attacks account for 90% of all online security breaches and grew tremendously during the COVID-19 lockdown period as most businesses allowed their employees to work from home. Small business owners should consider outsourcing cyber security expertise to ensure they have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place.
2. Fraudulent mobile apps
Hundreds of fraudulent mobile apps, clones of essential apps, hide in plain sight on different app stores. When employees download and launch these apps over the company’s network, it gives full virtual access to hackers. The apps collect personal data such as employee banking credentials and a business’s financial network. Unfortunately, these apps can hide in plain sight, performing tasks of their clones in the foreground while collecting information in the background. You can use VPN for small businesses to mask the identity of your network from these prying apps.
3. Weak passwords
When was the last time you had your employees update their passwords? Most business owners ignore other authentication aspects once their employees are furnished with their initial login details, which can be a costly mistake. You can partner with an IT expert and have them refresh your user names and login details every once in a while.
To put this into perspective, one in every five small businesses get hacked through employee password systems. Companies are advised to invest in two-factor authentication methods which couples password protection with fingerprints or mobile short message service (SMS). If you can afford a biometric authentication system, the better. Lastly, employee passwords should be strong, comprising numbers, letters, and symbols.
4. Ransomware attacks
In a ransomware attack, hackers trick you into downloading a malicious file into your computer network. The malicious files then disable any form of cybersecurity software and encrypt all files on your computer. You will get a message from hackers asking you to pay a certain amount of money for them to decrypt your data.
Ransomware attacks are a common form of cybercrime and decrypting the files is difficult and expensive. Most victims end up paying the ransom and losing the files altogether. Having a robust security firewall can warn you if you download malicious files onto your computer.
Small businesses are at a greater risk of being targeted by cybercriminals due to poor cybersecurity strategies. Without a robust firewall, antivirus software, and strong authentication systems, your business is a click away from destruction.