Cyber security threats to small business

Developers completing cyber security audit

Having a cyber security plan in place is one of the best moves your business can make to help better protect your employees, customers and your organisation. The challenge, however, is that it’s a big task to be across the rapidly evolving cyber security threat landscape when you’re running a small business with time and resourcing constraints.

The good news is, being better informed about some of the most common cyber security threats to be aware of is the first step in understanding which protective measures your business needs to have in place.

Common cyber security breaches

So, what are some of the most common cyber security breaches that are impacting small businesses that you should be aware of? Let’s uncover what they are and what you can do to safeguard your business.

1. Phishing email and SMS scams

Phishing scams are one of the most common kinds of cyber security threats. The reason they are popular with cyber criminals is because it’s easier to lure someone to click on a malicious link than it is to infiltrate a laptop’s defences. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent a successful breach attempt:

How to protect your business against phishing scams:

  • Use an official, trusted contact method if you’re concerned a message or text might be fraudulent.
  • Avoid clicking on links in messages you have been sent in case they are fraudulent. Instead, navigate to their official website.
  • Educate your staff on this cyber security threat, so they can help identify and prevent phishing attempts proactively. 

2. Malicious ransomware software

Ransomware is software that halts access to computer systems or files unless a ransom is paid. It turns the power of encryption (designed to protect your files) against businesses by taking documents and files hostage. This results in you being locked out of important documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos, and other sensitive information. To make matters worse, an PC infected with ransomware can spread it to other devices on your network.

How to protect your business from ransomware:

  • Backup sensitive and important data often.
  • Check that automatic updates are turned on for operating systems, software and apps.
  • Use multi-factor authentication where appropriate.
  • Secure devices (including servers) and any internet-exposed services on your network.

3. Personally-supplied devices

If you have a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy at your organisation, it’s important to have protections in place. While it’s convenient and cost-saving, this influx of personal devices brings an increased threat of viruses, hacks, and data leaks. In fact, each device is another endpoint that cyber criminals can try to breach to access sensitive data.

How to protect personally-supplied devices:

  • Control access privileges to company data.
  • Delete company data and remove access from a device when a staff member leaves.
  • Invest in endpoint and mobile protection.

4. Sensitive business data

Data and the devices that store that data, is now frequently on the move. Laptops can be stolen, tablets misplaced, and phones are sometimes left in ride-shares or on public transport. When those devices are list, the business data on them is at risk – whether it be confidential business data or customer information.

How to protect your sensitive business data

  • Install privilege access controls for digital information.
  • Educate employees about the risk of sharing passwords between team members.
  • Remove access, disable accounts and/or update passwords when an employee resigns, or if you change providers.

Make the move to protect your business from cyber security attacks

When you’re at capacity taking care of business priorities, managing IT needs for a small business can easily remain on the ‘to do’ list with all of your competing responsibilities. Luckily, there are cyber security solutions available that, once implemented, can help to reduce the chances of your business being impacted by some of these common cyber security breaches.

When you’ve got your security handled, you’ll have more peace of mind and extra time to focus on strategic growth, business innovation, and to find more ways of creating value for your customers.

Ready to get your cyber security handled?

Ready to find out if your small business has the required measures in place to manage the current cyber security landscape? Register today for a complimentary cyber security audit and let’s get started. Together we will review your IT infrastructure, access any key threats or vulnerabilities, and recommend implementing strategies and solutions that can significantly reduce your risk of compromise.

Register today.



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