Small businesses that don’t have the right tools are finding it increasingly difficult to adapt to digital business models and keep up with consumer demand.
There are Digital Tools that Can Help You Protect Yourself From Cyberattacks
New technologies are available in many areas of the business ecosystem today to address the ever-growing problems that business owners face.
Business owners and employees can use new technologies to help them manage high volume work or improve customer relations. They are also a safeguard between your business and any bad actors on the Internet.
A number of expensive challenges have also been faced in the digital transition.
Companies are increasingly being threatened by cyber-attacks from bad actors in recent years.
Cybersecurity and online protection should be viewed as one of the top strategic solutions for business performance improvement in today’s globalized world.
The most recent statistics indicate that, in 2022, the average cost for data breaches was over $4.35m, which is an increase on the previous record of $4.24m.
Healthcare and medicine have the highest average costs of data breaches, despite the fact that the exact cost can vary from industry sector to industry.
Cyberattacks are on the rise and there is an incredible amount of data breached.
Because of the staggering cost of data breaches, small and large businesses quickly took action to protect themselves from any attacks or breaches.
A report released in 2021 showed that hackers and cybercriminals have targeted small businesses. According to the report, 42% were hit by cyberattacks in 2017. It was also found that 69% small business professionals are concerned about potential future cyberattacks.
While 72% are now prepping their digital operations in preparation for a possible attack, professionals still view their businesses to be too small or hidden from cyber criminals to be considered targets.
Concerningly, only 26% of small-business professionals view cyber security as a “top prioritization.” As more technology is adopted and used widely online, small businesses will face increasing cyber threats.
Aside from cyber attacks there are many other problems. Small businesses and startups often don’t have the financial resources to install high-end cybersecurity systems.
A high-end or mid-tier cybersecurity system can cost professionals anywhere from $1,300 to $3,000 per employee.
The percentage indicates that the business is dedicating 0.2% to 0.9% revenue to cybersecurity. This could be a problem for small business owners, such as you, who may need to cut back or adjust the budget to enhance online security systems.
Types and types of cyberattack
Due to the explosive growth in online commerce and digital media, combined with the emergence of remote work/virtual working offices, the cyberattacks businesses face each year are becoming more severe.
Despite advancements in technology, the Internet of Things and basic software capabilities and the availability of basic software tools, cyberattacks are still largely caused by human error. This is because there is not enough knowledge and training about cyber security and cybercrime.
Human error remains the biggest threat to small businesses cybersecurity. But there are also other types and types of attacks.
Malicious software can infiltrate a computer or an operating system with malicious code. This includes spyware, ransomware (ransomware), worms and adware. Malware attacks make up the majority of cyber attacks.
Malicious emails and malicious links are another threat. Once an email has been opened, a virus is released onto the computer. The virus allows the attacker to gain access confidential information.
Hackers can gain access to online businesses’ platforms and other critical information by cracking the passwords for certain accounts or portals. It is important that everyone uses a complex and strong password, especially if multiple accounts have been connected or synced to one server.
It is common for companies and businesses to attack servers and networks of companies in order to exhaust bandwidth. The system can become overwhelmed or exhausted and then slow down or stop completely.
These are just a handful of the most frequent and well-known cyberattacks that happen regularly. Small businesses that use websites or social media can be attacked online at any moment. It often takes several days for people to notice that their system has been compromised.
What can small businesses do to defend themselves from cyber attacks
There are many cyber threats that can be posed to small businesses and startups. It will be more difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners to identify the bad actors.
Your business, employees, clients, and customers will be protected if you are prepared. Below are some tips that will help protect you business from impending cybercrime.
Educate and inform your employees
It doesn’t matter if you run a small business that employs one or two people, it is worth talking with your frontline employees to learn more about the cyberattack risks. Even if it is just you, make sure to take the time for a follow-up about any potential gaps in your cybersecurity system and what you can do to fix them.
This could be the greatest risk to your business’s cybersecurity. Employees are the most vulnerable. It is important to make sure they log in on their own devices to social media or visit websites for personal purposes.
You can also make a policy that requires employees to use passwords on their work devices and keep it updated. It is important to make sure employees know how to spot suspicious online activity.
Limit the access of employee data
In addition to educating employees on the dangers of cyberattacks, it is possible to limit employee access business-related data.
It is not a smart idea to give employees unlimited access, even if you are a small company. The best way to manage and monitor the data being accessed by your business, as a business owner is to limit what employees can see, enter and download.
Security and software updates
It is essential that you take the time to ensure that your computer, which is used for business purposes, has at least some anti-virus software.
This is the minimum level of security you can have for any type of computer. However as your business grows, more devices will be added and it becomes necessary to update the systems. Your business will be protected from any hackers, whether they are on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Make use of cloud storage
Online cloud storage has become an alternative to servers and physical networks that used to store data. Many businesses still use these traditional hardware tools. However, technology has improved its safety and effectiveness, replacing them with virtual cloud storage.
Cloud storage makes it possible to instantly upload and download any information, share across multiple channels and improve remote and virtual working capabilities. It also allows remote workers to work in a more mobile-friendly workplace.
Cloud storage is more stable and offers round-the-clock cybersecurity protection. Furthermore, cloud activity can be monitored in order to identify suspicious activity and update security protocols.
Do regular cybersecurity assessments
It is also a cost-effective and intelligent way to improve your cybersecurity systems. This is often relatively easy, especially if it’s a basic program for computer security or you have the knowledge.
Not only does it monitor your devices’ performance but it can also detect potential threats and clean out your device from trojans, worms and viruses.
Most computer security programs include an assessment tool. These tools can be launched by you, or you can search the internet for free and trusted tools.
Customer data protection
Small businesses that operate online via social media and websites will need to use some kind of customer protection to ensure the security of your clients’ personal data.
For example, you may limit employee access to customer data and restrict their use of customer data.
Use a customer relation management system that is respected by the industry. This will ensure reliable protection against hackers.
Also, reduce the amount data and information stored by devices or network servers to limit accessibility.
By protecting customer data, you not only protect your customers but also ensure your business’s security in case of cyberattack or hack.
Initiate a response strategy
Last but not least, you should have a plan of action in place for any attack or data breaches. A professional should be consulted before creating a response strategy.
In the event of an attack, employees can use a response plan to help them. It will help you, as a business proprietor, to know that your company is well-prepared and has taken the necessary steps in order to implement the correct protocols.
To be finished
Being prepared is better than being vulnerable. By being vigilant about protecting data and information, your business is better protected. If an attack does occur, you will have the necessary protocols in place to protect your business.
Don’t think that your company is too small to fall prey to cyberattacks. Cybercrime poses a threat to every business. Businesses will have to spend more money and time in order to stop cybercrime.
Cybersecurity is a long-term, permanent investment that should be considered across all business areas. Use of the right tools, systems, and processes will help you save time and money.