Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are just as at risk from cyber security threats as large companies. A common misconception for SMEs is the idea of security through obscurity, that a business can be too small to be a target. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The National Cyber Security Alliance states that 60% of small and midsize businesses that fall victim to a severe cyber-attack go out of business within six months. Lately, SMEs have been facing a record number of virtual security threats mostly due to COVID-19 lock-downs. Today, we’re looking at the top virtual security threats that SMEs face.
The FBI reports that in 2020, phishing has been the most prevalent type of cyber-crime. Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) reveals that in 2020, phishing attacks have been associated with 43% of company data breaches. The numbers are more than alarming.
Phishing is a type of cyber-crime where hackers impersonate legitimate organizations via email, text message, or other means to steal sensitive information. Across the web, phishing attacks have baited unsuspecting victims into handing over personal information, online banking details, social security numbers, and much more. Plus, cyber-criminals today are even savvier with their disguises, making it harder to identify a phishing attack.
For a business to lower the risk of falling victim to a phishing scam, it is essential to get the entire team on board. Cybersecurity training session, where the entire team is familiarized with how phishing attacks look is essential. Also be sure to establish an infrastructure for reporting cybersecurity incidents for your employees. Finally, having a strong Email Security Gateway like in place can prevent phishing emails from reaching your employees inboxes.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise. Datto reports that 20% of SMEs fall victim to a ransomware campaign. Remarkably, only 28% of SMEs are concerned about ransomware. Although demands may not hit the multi-million dollar mark that large organizations encounter, an attack can result in an extortion attempt leading to devastating outcomes.
In ransomware attacks, cyber crooks use malware to encrypt a victim’s files and data, effectively holding the data hostage until the ransom is paid. The recent increase in remote work has been an opportunity for hackers to attack at full strength.
Ransomware attacks are sneaky threats. The good news is, they’re preventable.
SMEs can protect against ransomware using several common-sense methods. First, make sure to regularly backup your data and update your software. Software updates are crucial as they patch up any security issues that could be exploited by bad actors. Also, consider deploying a company-wide antivirus or anti-malware software for complete protection.
The vast majority of hacks are caused by human error or small security holes that can be easily patched — primary among them, password management. In fact, Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) indicates that up to 80% of all hacking-related breaches are associated with passwords and their poor management
A password manager should be on the company’s must-have list of cybersecurity tools, no matter its size or market. A password manager such as NordPass can help your employees create unique, strong passwords and securely store them in a single place, which in turn will boost your company’s overall security posture. Besides a significant security improvement, a password manager is known to boost employee productivity as they no longer need to remember or manually type passwords.
Cloud-based applications are a fact of life in the modern-day business. You would be hard pressed to find an SME that doesn’t rely on some sort of cloud-based application. But as with everything in life, there’s another side to cloud computing; it has its risks that should be taken seriously.
For SMEs it is crucial to develop a cloud security policy in which they clearly outline security procedures related to using cloud-based applications. Consider mandatory Multi-Factor Authentication for all cloud based applications. Evaluate the application’s security posture. Zero-knowledge architecture is one thing to look for in applications, because it ensures the privacy and security of any data that the cloud-based application handles.