The Importance of Cyber Security for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
61 percent of small businesses can be expected to experience a cyber attack. Cyber attackers don’t care about the size of a business; every business represents an opportunity for profit. Smaller businesses tend to have fewer technological roadblocks than larger enterprises, making them appear to be an ideal target. If you own a small to medium size business, you need to take proactive steps to improve your security.
The Risk for Businesses Continues to Increase
Businesses now rely upon their data for their day-to-day operations. Without data, many businesses can’t complete transactions, bill out their customers, put in inventory orders, or track their logistics. Cybercriminals know this, which has led to the proliferation of attacks such as “ransomware” — attacks that can shut down a business until a ransom has been paid.
As technology continues to change, the risk for businesses grows. Zero-day exploits — exploits that occur the moment that a new vulnerability is found — have proliferated, to the extent that many business networks are under constant attack by malicious programs that have never been seen before.
This will only grow. Cybercrime is now an industry in many countries, with cybercriminals operating like legitimate businesses. These cybercriminals can leverage their economic situations to throw massive amounts of resources towards cyber attack.
Protecting Your Sensitive Data
Small businesses have to mobilize to protect their data now. Effectively, this means:
- Installing next-generation antivirus solutions. Older antivirus solutions aren’t able to recognize exploits that have never been seen before. Not only are cybercriminals often using new vulnerabilities, but they are also able to make malicious programs that can change the way they appear, therefore defeating security solutions that rely upon identifying already known exploits. Next-generation solutions identify viruses and malicious programs by behavior rather than by appearance.
- Training your employees. Some attacks, such as phishing attempts, require thorough training to thwart. Employees can be vulnerable to these types of social engineering and confidence attacks, giving over confidential information that could lead to network vulnerability.
- Creating better business processes. Best practices such as only letting employees have the permissions they require, logging everything, and keeping sensitive and personally identifiable information under stricter security protocols, can lower your overall risk.
- Engaging in solid Mobile Device Management. Mobile devices and the Internet of Things has made the security landscape much more complex. Employees walk in and out every day with advanced computers in their pockets, and these can also be vulnerable to exploit.
Security attacks targeting small businesses are on the rise. In order to protect yourself, you may need to make some significant changes in your business processes. The easiest way to do this is with an experienced partner. Johnson Business Technology Solutions can give you everything you need to get started today. Contact JBTS to schedule a consultation.