Increased Risk for Small Businesses
Over the years, there have been many advancements in information technology. Unfortunately, this also means that cyber-attacks have become more sophisticated, leaving many businesses more vulnerable to their intrusion. Large businesses have been investing in more and more cyber security and insurance to protect themselves from these attacks. However, small businesses often believe that they aren’t at as much risk as large businesses. This is a large misconception—as long as small businesses trade information such as credit card payments and customers’ personal information, they are targets of these cyber-attacks. Over the past 6 years, cyber-attacks on small businesses have increased from 18 percent to 43 percent, but as they become more at risk, they aren’t investing enough in cyber security to meet the risk. Often, small businesses don’t realize how vulnerable they are to these attacks and by the time they’ve been hacked, it would already be too late the prevent the effects of these cyber intrusions. The following are a few steps that small businesses can take to mitigate this risk and prevent an attack before it happens.
1.) Become familiar with the different types of methods hackers use for cyber-attacks
The first step to preventing cyber-attacks is understanding the ways in which hackers carry out cyber-attacks. This can be helpful in identifying a few surface vulnerabilities. A good reference is this article written by ConnectOne Bank.
2.) Develop security policy
The best way to minimize risk for a business is to develop a protocol that determines the way that employees deal with information. By ingraining this protocol within the culture of the company, employees are trained to use safe practices in working with information and respond to warning signs and suspected attacks.
3.) Limit transfers of information to personal or phone interactions
Only give information such as credit card details or social security numbers when you’re speaking to a person face to face or over phone communications with live people. Never include sensitive information in emails, which are always at a high risk of being hacked.
4.) Update antivirus software in a timely manner
Don’t wait to update your antivirus software or other security software. As the software updates, they target the latest methods that cyber-attackers are using. By skipping that update, you may not be protected against new threats.
5.) Invest in a cyber risk assessment tool
By purchasing a cyber risk assessment product, such as Pro-Assess, you will be able to identify which areas of your company are most at risk for cyber intrusions. Pro-Assess offers consulting support from cyber security experts and comprehensive findings, such as recommendations and a security analysis of each security control, allowing you to make the best decisions to protect your company and its data.