Ransomware attacks have been assailing small and medium businesses from all sides this past year. Statistics compiled by Verizon show this phenomenon isn’t new and continues to display upward trends. Many of the documented security incidents weren’t detected before several days and sometimes even months after the attack.
Threat actors are keen on the fact that many small businesses lack resources to defend against cyberattacks, making them a significant target in comparison with their big business counterparts. Large companies have been allocating more of their healthy profits to cybersecurity budgets. This has prompted attackers to refocus their scope on small businesses with fewer resources.
Automated and supply chain attacks have been escalating in recent months. And criminal hackers perceive small and medium-sized businesses as easy targets for making inroads into the infrastructure of their larger corporate partners. Automated malicious hacking represents a new means by which threat actors increase the scale of their attacks without much additional effort.
Yet withal, the problem continues. Many smaller companies are fundamentally ill-equipped to deal with attacks of this ilk when compared with the enterprise businesses with which they work. Therefore, a sound security strategy remains imperative as the same threats that once targeted large corporations set their sights on small businesses.
Before a small enterprise overcomes any cybersecurity obstacle, an understanding of the threat actors initiating them is necessary. While some cyberattacks may be political in nature, the vast majority are financially motivated. This type of attack usually deploys ransomware to assume control of a network system or its data and demand cash payments, which may or may not restore services.
In the majority of instances, acquiescing to a criminal ransom demand won’t resolve the problems instigated by the attack.
Sound security practices and continuous training are vital to data security. If you’re considering hiring out your computer IT services, you aren’t off base in your thinking. Premier managed IT firms like PCH Technologies offer 24/7/365 monitoring of your critical infrastructure.
Now let’s take a look at six of the key cybersecurity threats your small business faces today along with a few suggestions on how to prevent them in the first place:
1. Email phishing
Exploiting company email addresses is one of the most common ways hackers penetrate company networks. Phishing is also a means of initiating a spoofing attack, to be discussed in more detail later. This type of attack deceives company leaders into fraudulently wring money into unauthorized accounts. While companies as a whole may be difficult to attack, individuals are far more susceptible, making phishing an ongoing threat to monitor.
2. Internal threats
Internal cybersecurity threats are not simply relegated to the unwitting employee blindly clicking on the wrong link. Internal threat actors form a substantial cybersecurity concern, one that’s frequently overlooked. Disgruntled employees often create backdoors for themselves before exiting a company, taking critical information and data along with them. Most companies revoke the credentials of terminated staff immediately upon separation. However, there are several scenarios in which restricting access may be desirable while unfeasible. It is customary for employees to give two weeks’ notice, and, in most instances, you may need a terminated staff member to continue in her role for that same span of time.
Spoofing is a problem, particularly when the threat actor is operating under the guise of the CEO. Not dissimilar to phishing, spoofing aims to deceive employees via direct email communications in place of a malicious link. Verifying all transactions is the best protection against spoofing.
The use of malware is not new. 2010 was the year malware really started to take off with major cybercrime rings identified across the globe. Malware uses phishing tactics to infect computers and invade the IT infrastructure of small businesses. Most companies fall victim to malware attacks because they failed to partner with a locally managed IT services before realizing they couldn’t monitor their networks 24-hours a day.
5. Internet of Things (IOT) device exposure
In the connected world as we know it, small Internet of Things Devices, while convenient, open up a new realm of security concerns. IoT-controlled public utilities, such as water systems, have been known to force school closures in Blaine, Minnesota -not to mention the countless other IoT surveillance devices for which instruction manuals are readily available.
6. The 5G-to-wifi handover
You might imagine that your IT service providers are on the cutting edge, but so too are their adversaries. As the 5G rollout continues, expect more advanced cyber attacks in newly emergent digital spaces. Most cybersecurity analysts concur that the 5G-to-Wifi handover remains particularly vulnerable to new threats.
The final word
Reducing human risks associated with data security breaches demands a comprehensive approach. 60 percent of small businesses shutter within six months of a cyberattack.
For more information on protecting your business, schedule a brief discovery calling PCH Technologies, a premier managed IT company specializing in preventing cyber threats. Dial 844-754-7500 to speak with a Senior Client Relationship Manager at PCH Technologies today.