Cyber security should be an increasingly important concern for small businesses however the common misconception is that your business is too small to be a target or has nothing of value to take.
Unfortunately, the reality is that cybercriminals often target smaller businesses because they may have fewer resources to devote to security and are perceived as easier targets.
It is essential to understand that small businesses can be just as vulnerable to cyber attacks as larger organisations and that the consequences of a successful attack can be just as, if not more severe.
What are the risks?
One of the most significant risks facing small businesses is the loss of sensitive data. This can include customer information, financial data, and proprietary business information. A data breach can result in significant financial losses and damage a business’s reputation. In addition, under GDPR, companies operating in the UK may also be required to notify customers and regulatory bodies of a data breach, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Another risk facing small businesses is the threat of ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. Small businesses may be particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks, as they may not have adequate backups of their data and may not have the resources to pay the ransom.
Phishing attacks, where a threat actor attempts to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, are also a common risk. These attacks can take many forms, including email, text messages, and phone calls. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to phishing attacks, as employees may not be adequately trained to recognise and respond to these threats.
How to protect your business
To protect against these and other cyber threats, small businesses must take a proactive approach to security. This includes implementing strong passwords, keeping their software and operating systems up to date, and using anti-virus and anti-malware software. Small businesses should also regularly back up important data and use encryption to protect sensitive information.
Technical measures can vastly help reduce the attack surface but only form part of the solution, businesses should also focus on employee education and awareness. This includes training employees on how to recognise and respond to cyber threats, as well as establishing clear policies and procedures for handling sensitive information. Afterall, there is no point having a state of the art security system if your employees leave the back door propped open!
Another important, often overlooked aspect of cyber security is incident response planning. You should have a plan in place for how to respond to a cyber attack, including who to contact and what steps to take. This will help to minimise the damage caused by an attack and ensure that the business can quickly return to normal operations.
Finally, small businesses should also consider working with a third-party security vendor to provide additional protection and expertise. This can include services such as penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and incident response support.
Small businesses face many of the same threats as larger organisations, and the consequences of a successful attack can be just as severe. To protect against these threats, small businesses must take a proactive approach to security, including implementing technical measures, employee education and awareness, incident response planning and working with third-party security vendor.
With the right approach, small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cyber threats.
Holistic IT has a wide range of cybersecurity focused tools and services including Managed Firewalls, Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery and Fully Managed IT Support that can help you protect your staff and business from cyberthreats. To find out more, please call us on 01302 235050 or Contact Us