You may have thought that because your business is small, you’re safe from cyberattacks. But a new report by cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks debunks that myth. The report analyzed millions of emails across thousands of organizations and found that small companies are just as vulnerable to cyberattacks as larger ones. In fact, employees at small companies saw 350% more social engineering attacks than those at larger businesses. So what can small businesses do to protect themselves? We’ll explore that below.
Why Are Smaller Businesses At Such High Risk?
- Cybersecurity Gets Deprioritized – When it comes to allocating budget, smaller businesses often have to make tough decisions. And all too often, cybersecurity gets deprioritized in favor of other priorities. This leaves businesses vulnerable to attack.
- Antivirus Only Just Isn’t Enough – In order to protect themselves, businesses need to have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in place. This includes things like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and email and web filtering. Simply relying on antivirus software is not enough.
- Hackers Know Small Business Spending Habits – Hackers are aware that small businesses often don’t have the same level of security as larger businesses. They also know that small businesses are more likely to make impulse purchases in the face of a cyberattack. This makes them prime targets for attack.
“But, I’m just a small business; what do I have that hackers want?”
Your data. Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you don’t have valuable data. In fact, hackers are often after smaller businesses precisely because they know they’ll be an easier target with less security.
Plus, hackers know that sometimes, the data they find in a small business breach might lead to data that’s part of a larger business.
Are you prepared for a ransomware attack?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data, making it inaccessible to you. The hacker then demands a ransom, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, in order to decrypt the data and make it accessible again.
Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common. And they’re not just targeting large businesses – small businesses are being hit, too. In fact, 43% of ransomware attacks target small businesses.
So what can you do to protect your business?
First, you need to have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in place. This includes things like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and email and web filtering. Simply relying on antivirus software is not enough.
You also need to have a plan in place for if and when you do get hit with a ransomware attack. This includes having backups of all your data so that you can still access it even if your main system is down.
And finally, you need to educate your employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack where hackers send emails that appear to be from a trusted source in order to trick employees into clicking on malicious links or attachments. These links and attachments can then install malware onto your system, including ransomware.
Phishing is the cause of over 80% of data breaches.
By being aware of the risks and taking steps to protect your business, you can help to reduce the chance of falling victim to a cyberattack.