Small businesses have long been a target for hackers seeking easy money. Even though they’re often victimized because of their reputation as more vulnerable than their larger competitors — due to lower budgets and a lack of robust infrastructure — SMBs still handle plenty of high-value information. The fact is that all businesses, regardless of scope and size, need the best cybersecurity available.
Here are some examples of common threats facing your small business:
#1. Malicious software
Cybersecurity has shifted its focus from computer viruses and other malicious software to phishing scams, social engineering, and advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks. There’s a good reason for this, as these threats are among the most severe facing the modern corporate environment. However, malware is far from dead, as the various high-profile ransomware attacks of the past few years have demonstrated.
Antimalware solutions are no longer enough to protect you from viruses, spyware, and whatever else is making the rounds. Antimalware is a reactive solution that relies on someone getting infected first. Without an sample to work from, there’s no way to analyze how the malware works. Think of antimalware software like a vaccination, a critical last resort. What businesses really need is a multi-layered security system that includes 24/7 monitoring and intrusion prevention.
#2. Social engineering
Phishing scams get most of the attention when it comes to conversations about IT security, and with good reason. They’re the most common method of delivering malicious software and they’re frequently deployed to dupe unsuspecting victims into surrendering confidential information. Furthermore, these scams may be carried out over any type of online communication channel, such as web pages, emails, or instant messages.
What makes social engineering attacks like phishing scams so deadly is that they rely on human ignorance rather than vulnerabilities in technology. Because of this, IT security and administrative measures can’t guard against them. What you need, in addition to email spam filters, data-loss prevention systems, and network monitoring services, is ongoing employee awareness training.
#3. Advanced persistent threats
Not all hackers are impatient spammers casting a wide net and hoping for a few gullible victims among thousands of potential targets. Some are extremely skilled, imaginative, and patient, carrying out several different types of stealthy attacks on one particular target over a long period of time. Also known as advanced persistent threats (APTs), they almost exclusively target businesses for their high-value data.
APTs are among the most dangerous attacks of all, simply because they don’t follow any specific rules and every case is different. That’s why you still need to have humans driving your cybersecurity strategy who know your network inside and out, always on the lookout for potentially suspicious traffic.
#4. Network eavesdropping
Today’s workforce enjoys a far greater degree of online access than ever. However, this rise of mobile and online technologies isn’t all roses and rainbows. Connecting to any cloud-hosted system with any device increases the number of potential attack avenues exponentially. For example, network eavesdropping is what happens when people connect to unsecured public networks where traffic is open to anyone.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to lock down your mobile devices and cloud-hosted resources while still empowering your employees to connect to any network safely. By creating a corporate virtual private network (VPN) specifically for your business, all traffic will be rerouted through a secure server and encrypted. This will make any intercepted data useless to would-be eavesdroppers.
Are today’s cybersecurity challenges starting to get you down? That’s where we can help. F1 Solutions helps companies in Huntsville, Madison, and Moores Hill get more out of technology without the sacrifices and sleepless nights. Call us today to schedule your first assessment.