Small firms typically don’t have the cybersecurity measures that larger organizations do, making them appealing targets for fraudsters. Small businesses are the target of 43% of cyberattacks, and the fallout from these breaches can be very expensive in terms of lost productivity and brand reputation. In fact, within six months of the attack, 60% of all small businesses that suffer a data breach permanently close their doors.
According to a recent report, 47 percent of companies with fewer than 50 employees lack a designated budget for cybersecurity. Additionally, only 18% of businesses with more than 250 employees have a budget set aside specifically for cybersecurity.
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, the average cost of a data breach rose to $4.24 million in 2021, up 10% from the previous year. Organizations with more comprehensive cybersecurity practises had lower costs than those with weak security infrastructure. The survey also discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on remote work raised the average overall cost of a data breach.
Remote desktop protocol (RDP) was rapidly being used by businesses for remote access after the release of COVID-19. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) was frequently left off. Due to the ease of entrance for threat actors, this resulted in an increase in cyber threats. Working remotely increased the amount of time it took to find and stop data breaches in comparison to companies with more employees present on the job site.
Reasons Small Businesses are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Small firms frequently don’t take cybersecurity seriously. Numerous companies believe they are “too small” to be impacted by a cyber event. Many people do not recognise how serious a breach is until it is too late, if an event does occur. For a variety of reasons, small business owners do not feel the need to devote the time or resources to a cybersecurity plan, including
- They don’t believe they would suffer from a data breach.
- Budgets for cybersecurity initiatives are very small.
- Systems lack support and are out of date.
- The support for special software required by out-of-date devices has ended.
Additionally, because many firms lack a backup system to restore data in the event of an attack, they are powerless to resist ransomware attacks.
The main reason for data breaches at small organisations is human error. The IBM survey also discovered that the most typical way attackers access a company’s data at first is through compromised credentials.
Types of Cyber Attacks
88 percent of small business owners believed their company was susceptible to a cyberattack, according to a Small Business Administration survey. However, many businesses lack the funds or don’t know where to begin to implement professional cybersecurity solutions.A cyberattack is an intentional assault on a computer system or network using malicious code to wreak havoc or steal information. Cyberattacks are always changing. The following are a some of the most prevalent cybercrimes:
- Social Engineering Scams: This kind of cybercrime tricks or manipulates a victim into disclosing private or confidential information in order to commit fraud. Social engineering frauds come in a variety of forms, including:
- Spear Phishing
- Spoof Websites
- Caller ID Spoofing
- Malware: The installation of malicious software on a user’s computer occurs as a result of clicking on a malicious link or opening an unauthorised email attachment. Malware has the ability to seize control of a computer, restrict access to files and other crucial network components, and collect private information. Trojan horses and drive-by attacks are two additional varieties of malware.
- SQL Injections and Other Web Application Attacks: A structured query language (SQL) injection is a type of cyberattack in which a hacker “injects” harmful code into a SQL-using service, compelling it to reveal information that it would not typically disclose, such as user lists, customer information, and other private company information.
- Denial-of-Service (DoS): The resources of a system are overloaded by hackers, making it unresponsive to service requests and inaccessible to authorised users.
- Botnets:By deploying bots to steal personal information, transmit spam, and introduce viruses into the computer network, a botnet can be the engine behind a cyberattack.
Cyber Attack Prevention
To protect a company’s reputation and prevent costly losses totaling thousands of dollars, early data breach discovery is essential. Best practises for cybersecurity in small businesses include:
- Employee Training: Employee cybersecurity education shouldn’t be a one-shot deal.
- Password Protection Program: Each daily site visited by small businesses and their employees should have a secure password. Employees should never exchange passwords or keep them in plain sight when writing them down.
- Data Encryption: All data transmitted across servers, computers, or personal devices should be properly encrypted to prevent illegal access attempts. In the case of any HIPAA-regulated data, this is crucial.
- Multi-factor Authentication: To enter into networks, systems, and computers, multi-factor authentication requires additional verification information, such as a security code delivered to your phone. It’s crucial to use MFA whenever you can. A more secure system results from turning it on for email, VPN access, Firewall, and software access.
- Cyber Insurance Coverage: Small businesses can benefit substantially from the protection provided by cyber insurance against the possible high expenses associated with various cyberattacks as well as the monetary and reputational harm caused by data breaches.