Author: Kayla Matthews / Source: Information Security Buzz
So many high-profile hacks and cyberattacks have occurred over the past few years, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking small businesses are rarely a target. After all, big businesses have more to offer, especially when it comes to personal or sensitive data — right?
In fact, more than 43 percent of cyberattacks target small or newer businesses. How scary is that? It means nearly half of all cyberattacks are targeting smaller businesses instead of large organizations.
Worse yet, 60 percent of small companies affected go out of business within six months of a severe cyberattack. It means, sadly, that if your business or site is a target, you could see a massive brand extinction in your near future. Does that mean doomsday is here? Is this the apocalypse for small businesses everywhere?
Absolutely not. In fact, the only thing this information does indicate is that every business, regardless of size, must be more concerned with protecting themselves from external hacks and breaches. That includes taking the necessary precautions to protect your audience, customers and clients, too.
To better protect from external intrusions, it makes sense to study the different ways in which hackers take advantage of small business. What are some of the ways they attack vulnerable companies? What do they look for? How can you slow down their progress or prevent their attacks outright?
- Ransomware Is on the Rise
One of the most recent examples of ransomware or malicious malware came in the form of the WannaCry exploit. What this particular attack does is encrypt, corrupt or lock sensitive data behind a unique firewall. Then, it demands the user or system administrator make a blackmail payment to reacquire access to said content.
In some cases, the ransomware will collect harmful and sensitive information about a user, like websites they visit, videos and streaming content they watch and much more. Some can even snap photos through a connected webcam, which can be used to further blackmail individuals.
In the end, the user falls into the trap of thinking they can save themselves and their data by meeting the demands of the hackers. The problem is, hackers will not return or resupply access to any content or information they have. This could lead to you — or colleagues — paying the ransom for absolutely nothing.
WannaCry infected computers and encrypted the operating systems of those it attached to. Its function was similar to a computer virus, and it spread quickly. You can imagine how many small businesses were affected by something like this.
The best way to combat something like this is to keep all your security, malware and antivirus tools up to date, both at home and at work. Never open attachments, emails or conversations with people you don’t know on any service. And don’t download content from untrustworthy or unknown sources.
Using managed IT solutions is another option for small businesses, as the affected systems and servers are managed and protected by a remote party much more skilled and knowledgeable about such things than most small businesses’ in-house IT teams.
- Phishing or Masked Portals
Phishing, as a whole, is quite broad. But the…
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