From small businesses to multinational corporations, cybersecurity is one of the most important investments you can make. This past year has shown how much we have progressed technologically and how our world is becoming increasingly digitized. The idea of having employees work from home would have been unfathomable a few years ago, but is now incredibly common, especially with the rise of COVID-19. Business operations are also becoming progressively computerized with many important records being stored electronically. There are vulnerabilities associated with anything connected to the internet and data breaches can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many small businesses aren’t able to sustain these extra costs and have to close following a cyberattack. Given this trend, it is more important than ever for businesses to consider implementing cybersecurity for their businesses.
Cybercrime is becoming a very profitable industry and trends show that it has been on the rise in recent years with no signs of stopping. Moreover, small to medium sized businesses are one of the primary targets of cyber hackers. Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses since many of them do not have the safeguards in place to keep them protected from cyberattacks. Many small business owners believe that cyberattacks only target large corporations but in fact, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small and medium sized businesses. This is incredibly concerning because cyber attacks can be fatal for these businesses, with a reported 60% of small businesses closing following a cyberattack. Many small business owners overlook the importance of cybersecurity until it is too late.
Given that the risk and financial impact of cybersecurity is so high, it only makes sense that business owners should take steps towards protecting their business records and assets.
Phishing attacks are by far the most common threat that small businesses face, accounting for 90% of all breaches that firms face. Phishing is a type of scam where cybercriminals impersonate legitimate people or organizations in order to gain access to secured information. Many times phishing messages will contain a link to an external website or form where you are asked to fill out your information - this information then ends up in the hands of cybercriminals. These criminals will then use the information to impersonate the victim and either conduct fraudulent activity or sell it to other cyber criminals on the Dark Web.
Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly difficult to spot. If you are interested in reading more about how to spot phishing schemes and keep yourself safe, read our blog post on phishing here.
Solutions: Having a strong email security can help prevent phishing emails from reaching your inbox and can help to flag suspicious looking emails. Check out CyberUnits’ options for mobile and email security here.
Malware is an all-encompassing term for a variety of cyber threats including trojans and viruses. It refers to malicious code that cybercriminals create to access private information or networks. These types of attacks can be harmful because they can cripple devices, requiring expensive repairs or replacements to fix them. Many small businesses ask their employees to use personal devices for work, but this makes them more vulnerable to malware attacks.
Solutions: Having strong defences in place can help protect your business from malware attacks. Computer security can help protect your endpoints and also block malicious downloads and webpages. Visit CyberUnit’s options for computer security here.
Ransomware is a form of cyberattack that has grown in popularity recently with more businesses falling victim to cybercriminals. In this attack, cybercriminals access and encrypt sensitive company information so that it cannot be accessed. Then, these criminals force the company to pay a ransom in order to access their data again.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to these attacks because more often than not, their data is not backed up and they suffer more losses from their inability to operate. 71% of ransomware attacks target small businesses and the average ransom ranges from around $100,000. Especially for small businesses that handle incredibly sensitive client information (i.e. accounting, law or healthcare firms), it is important for you to consider the safety of your clients as well when storing their data.
Interested in learning more about the recent rise in ransomware and what large industries have been hit? Read more in our blog post here about ransomware.
Solutions: Again, having computer security and protection is essential for preventing ransomware attacks. Furthermore, businesses should also consider having their company data backed up so that no important data will be lost in the case of a ransomware attack. CyberUnit can help you get set up with a computer security plan as well as managing your back ups, contact us here today to learn more about your options.
Using the same password or easily guessed passwords can leave your data open to being compromised. In fact, 63% of data breaches are due to stolen or weak passwords. In the most extreme cases, it can take less than one second for a hacker to breach your passwords. The time it takes to breach a password will increase as the password becomes more secure, this means adding numbers, symbols and a mixture of upper and lower case letters to make your passwords more complex.
Read our blog post here to learn more about the best ways to create a secure and strong password.
Solutions: Here at Cyber Unit, we also recommend using a password management tool like Lastpass to help you generate unique passwords and keep them secure from potential hackers. It is important that you avoid using free software or apps for password management as they tend to be less secure and can put you at risk.
Human error is the main cause of 95% of cyber security breaches because it is much easier to exploit than machine error. Many cybercriminals will target your employees through the cybercrimes mentioned above. Many employees are not receiving the cybersecurity training they desperately need. Especially with the shift towards remote work, it is more important than ever that employees receive adequate training on how to prevent cybercrime.
Interested in learning more about the importance of training your employees? Read our blog post here to learn more.
Solutions: Invest in cybersecurity training for your employees. Keeping your employees trained and educated can help to reduce the risk of data breaches faced by your company. This training should be ongoing in order to ensure that you are providing adequate support for your employees.
As a business owner, there is a lot of pressure for you to be constantly making big decisions for the future of your firm. It is a continuous balancing act of ensuring that you are providing the best value and service to customers while also maximizing your own operations and profits. It can be easy to overlook cybersecurity as a necessity, especially since it can be expensive to invest in the software and consultants to help you implement it. However, by investing in cybersecurity, you are saving your business from incurring greater costs if you were to fall prey to a cybercrime. Many small businesses never recover from the cost of a cyberattack and 60% are forced to close their business. Investing in cybersecurity will save you money in the long run by helping to prevent costly mistakes.
Specializing in small to medium sized businesses, CyberUnit is here to help for all of your cybersecurity needs. We provide customized security plans against cybercrime at a price that is right for professionals and small-businesses like yours. We also educate and train organizations and individuals on safety practices to help prevent major breaches.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch with a professional today!