Top Cyber Threats for SMBs & How Small Business Managed IT Security Services can Help
Over the years, you have likely heard about major companies (Target, Equifax, and more) falling victim to costly large-scale data breaches. However, if you are assuming that malicious hackers are preoccupied with only targeting the big dogs in the business world, you are mistaken. The unfortunate reality is that hackers know that smaller companies don’t always have the resources or know-how to protect themselves from cyber threats, making them easier targets. Luckily, there are small business managed IT security services out there that are specifically designed to protect small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) from devastating breaches, bugs, and so on. Keep reading as we dive into the types of threats that are most prevalent for SMBs and the steps you can take to safeguard your business from cyberattacks.
The Threat: Malicious Code
Usually, malicious code is spread through social engineering deception (like an email with an infected attachment or link that is disguised to look harmless). Malicious code can take on the following forms:
Malware is malicious software that can gather sensitive information, damage or disrupt a device’s operation, or gain access to private computer systems.
Ransomware is a form of malware that gains access into a user’s files, locks and encrypts them, and demands the victim to pay a ransom to get them back.
Spyware is technology that downloads itself to your device without your permission. It can make your computer do things out of your control, such as steal passwords, open a file you don’t want to open, or even track your online activity.
Viruses are malicious software programs that multiply by changing other computer programs to include their own code.
How to Avoid Malicious Code
Because hackers are good at creating websites, popups, and emails that appear to be safe when they aren’t, simply training your employees about malicious code isn’t enough. In addition to training, employing small business managed IT security services can help you keep your software current, protect all devices that connect to your network, and proactively monitor any suspicious activity.
The Threat: Security Breaches
Sometimes the biggest threat to your system’s security isn’t from an outsider – it is caused by careless or malicious internal employees. For instance, if an employee easily forgets their passwords and leaves them on a sticky note on their desk, someone with bad intentions could easily gain access into the employee’s sensitive accounts. Another example is when an outsourced or former employee still has access to your projects and private data, even after they’ve completed their time with your company.
How to Avoid Security Breaches
There are several ways to combat potential security breaches, including:
- Changing Passwords Often: In case someone slips through the cracks and somehow has access to data and accounts that they shouldn’t, it is important to change passwords at least every 90 days.
- Password Management: Having an employee who is dedicated to managing login credentials makes it easier to track who has access to certain accounts. Once an employee quits or is let go, be sure the passwords for the account they had access to are changed.
- Training Employees: You should always include cybersecurity training as a part of your onboarding protocol. It is important to ensure that your employees understand how to avoid common mistakes (like writing their password on a sticky note and leaving it on their desk or using public Wi-Fi to log into their business accounts). Additionally, be sure to train them about how to handle and report suspicious activity.
More Types of Threats to Consider
These threats are significant ones for any business, but the attacks don’t stop at malicious code and security breaches. Some other types of cyber threats include phishing, unsecured wireless internet networks, and so on. Because there are so many forms of attacks out there, it is crucial that you employ a robust security plan for your business.
Cyber attacks aimed at SMBs are more common than you might think. In fact, 47 percent of SMBs report that keeping data secure is one of their biggest challenges. Don’t fall victim to today’s complex cyber threats simply because you don’t have an adequate defense plan in place. Instead, let our small business managed IT security services give you the protection you need to facilitate your company’s success. At Contigo, we know cyber security like the back of our hand. Between our managed security and cyber security training services, we’ve got your enterprise covered. Contact us today to keep your sensitive data safe.