Should Your Business Bother About Cybersecurity?
If you like scrolling through social media these days, it feels like there’s always something out there that is out to get us. From the pandemic to feral hogs, and even cybercriminals. But as a business, you can’t just dismiss all these things. In fact, it is always a smart move to find out how it affects your business.
Take cybercriminals for example. For years businesses have seen them as a “boogeyman” of sorts. As a result, businesses don’t take cybersecurity seriously. In fact, 5 years ago some businesses don’t even care about securing their networks. The best thing they have for security is a free antivirus their intern downloaded for them.
But the past years have shown us all that cyberattacks are indeed real and nobody is safe. At first, small and medium-sized businesses were safe because most attacks were made on bigger businesses. But recent data has shown that criminal elements now prefer smaller businesses and they are seeing it as a very profitable venture.
But should you, as a business owner, worry about cybersecurity? How can you prevent yourself from becoming a target? Let’s talk about that in our article today.
Rising Cases of Cyberattacks on SMBs
If we were talking about cybersecurity some 5 or so years ago, SMBs wouldn’t even be in the picture. This is because cyberattacks in the past were focused on big businesses. However, this has changed during the past few years. Back in 2016, around 20% of SMBs in the US suffered from a cyberattack. In 2019, this increased to 76%. By 2020, more and more SMBs fell victim to cyberattacks. The attacks ranged from phishing, stolen or compromised devices, and credential theft.
While a lot of smaller businesses are now putting up defenses since 2019, 2020 still saw attacks on around half of the SMBs in the country.
But why are cybercriminals going for smaller businesses? Shouldn’t they go for the big corporations? Well, it seems that these criminal elements see SMBs as easier targets. On top of that, SMBs are more likely to pay up to stop or revert an attack. Let’s talk about that in detail.
Why Are Americas SMBs Under Attack?
A lot of the groups attacking businesses all have one thing in mind – money. While a successful attack on a large corporation meant a big payday, it’s not guaranteed. After all, most big businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure their networks. So instead of incessantly chasing the white whale, these groups started to look for easier targets. According to researchers, cybercriminals choose to attack SMBs due to the following reasons.
SMBs have little to no security in place
Who better to attack than the people who don’t even put up defenses, right? A lot of small and medium-sized businesses fail to allot a budget for an IT team or even a third-party IT security company. So what they have is a naked network ripe for the picking. Due to this, attacking SMBs requires very little effort and the attackers don’t really need to be smart about it.
SMB employees don’t know proper Internet security etiquette
A good number of the attacks on SMBs started from human error. It might be one employee downloading a malicious file, clicking on a phishing link, or visiting an infected website. All these are entry points for the criminals.
SMBs are more likely to pay
One type of cyberattack targeting SMBs is what’s called a ransomware attack. In a nutshell, it’s a kind of cyberattack where the criminals hold your data and network for ransom. If you don’t pay the ransom, you will lose your data on your computers and servers. Historically, SMBs are more likely to pay the ransoms dictated by the criminals compared to larger companies. This is because most SMBs can’t afford a very long downtime or starting from scratch. As a result, they just pay the ransom and pray the attackers to give their data back.
How Can You Prevent Your Business From Being A Victim?
Cyberattacks are real and cybersecurity is something all businesses should consider. Fortunately, this does not mean SMBs are sitting ducks. Here are a couple of simple things you can do to lessen your chances of being a target of a cyberattack.
Always update your software
Your business should at least have some anti-virus and anti-spyware software. While not exactly the best way to prevent an attack, they can easily detect the low-effort ones. However, just having them installed on your computers is not enough. Threats are evolving on an hourly basis so you need to upgrade your protection as well.
This does not just cover your anti-virus software. Hackers are always looking for holes in your system. These holes can come in the form of out-of-date software that has vulnerabilities. So keep all your installed software updated at all times.
Conduct employee education
As mentioned above, a big chunk of cyberattacks starts from human error. If you want to keep your business safe, you have to remove this security risk. To do that, you need to educate your employees on what they should and should not do online.
You can start by implementing a password policy within the workplace. This ensures all employees use strong passwords. You can also teach employees to recognize and tag phishing emails and malicious files. By educating your employees, you can ensure your business is safe.
Consider moving to the cloud
If you store your data on your local devices and servers, you are more likely to be attacked (and have more reasons to pay the ransom). By moving your data to the cloud, you are basically putting them in a more secure location. In the event that you are attacked, the hackers won’t have access to your precious data which means their attack was all for naught.
Prepare a response plan
You can protect yourself all you want but these attackers will find a way to infiltrate at some point. That is why it is smart to create a response plan to mitigate the damage done by an attack.
Find a Cybersecurity partner
If you really want your data to be secure then your best bet is to look for an IT company that can offer cybersecurity services. By working with these companies, you get enterprise-level security at a fraction of the cost. You will also be provided IT solutions that have your security in mind.
If you think your Washington DC or Maryland-based business is an open target for cybercriminals then call Intelice Solutions today. Intelice has provided countless small and medium-sized businesses with proactive cybersecurity solutions. These solutions are carefully crafted by the expert team of IT engineers behind Intelice. Their goal is to provide workable solutions that cause minimal to no changes in an organization’s workflow. Call Intelice today and ask how they can help protect your business.