With the time challenges of a small business, it’s hard to be across the complexities of cyber security. This makes it challenging to deeply understand current threats and create systems that reduce those potential risks. But the reality is, creating a solid cyber security plan helps protect your team and your organisation.
Fortunately, awareness is the first important step towards being across the cyber security landscape. Below is a snapshot of the top cyber security breaches every small business needs to have awareness of.
4 cyber security threats small business needs to manage
Let’s dive into what the most common kinds of cyber threats are to help you stay proactive and prepared plus what you can do to safeguard your business.
1. Email scams
Have you ever received an email or SMS that you thought was legitimate but was from an individual masquerading as someone you know? This is known as phishing or an email scam, and is one of the most common types of cyber security threats. Phishing attacks are popular with cyber criminals since it’s easier to lure someone into clicking a malicious link than it is to penetrate a computer’s defences. Luckily, they are also straightforward to prevent.
What you can do to protect against email scams:
- If you believe an SMS or phone call might be from a trusted organisation (such as your bank) find a method of contact you can trust.
- Search for the official website or phone number. Don’t using links or contact details in the message you have been sent in case they are fraudulent.
- Ensure your team is aware of this cyber security threat too, so they can spot and prevent phishing attempts.
2. Malicious software
Ransomware is malicious software that prevents access to your computer systems or data unless an amount of money is paid. It turns the power of encryption (designed to protect your files) against you by taking your files hostage. This means being locked out of critical files, spreadsheets, and other important files. Plus, an infected computer can spread the ransomware to other devices on your network.
What you can do protect against malicious software:
- Regularly backup business-critical data.
- Set operating systems, software and apps to automatically update.
- Use multi-factor authentication.
- Audit and secure mobile devices, laptops and servers as well as any internet-exposed services on your network.
3. Employee devices
Team members using personal devices like laptops, tablets, and phones to access business information is becoming increasingly popular. However, with an influx of personal devices comes an increased risk of viruses, hacks, and data breaches. In fact, every device that accesses company information represents an additional endpoint that hackers can attempt to breach.
What you can do to protect employee devices:
- Control which apps can access company data.
- Remove company data from a device when an employee leaves.
- Consider investing in endpoint protection that helps to protect your devices against cyber threats.
4. Sensitive data
Data is now not only constantly in motion and in transit between devices, but those devices are more frequently in motion, too. Laptops can be easy to steal, tablets get lost often, and phones are regularly being left in taxis and planes. Whenever those devices go missing, the business information on them is at risk – whether that’s confidential business data or customer records.
What you can do to protect your sensitive data
- Install controls for who has access permissions for company files and folders.
- Make sure passwords are not shared between staff.
- Remove access, delete accounts and/or change passwords when a team member leaves, or if you change providers.
Enhance your small business’ cyber security
Managing IT for a small or medium-sized business is a considerable job when you’re taking care of so many other responsibilities. Fortunately, there are all-in-one solutions available that, when implemented, can go a long way to reducing the likelihood and potential impact of the most common cyber security threats.
Plus, when you’ve got your security taken care of, you have more time to focus on growth, innovation, and to find new ways of adding value to your customers.
Ready to get your cyber security taken care of?
Ready to find out if your small business has the right measures in place? Register today for a complimentary cyber security audit and let’s get started. Together let’s review your IT infrastructure, access any potential threats or vulnerabilities, and put in place strategies and solutions that reduce your risk of compromise.