2020 was a remarkable year so to say, that’s because of the pandemic and surge in cyberattacks. COVID-19 forced businesses and organizations to move their products and services online. This, in turn, provided a perfect ground for cyber-attacks. Many organizations and businesses were crippled in the process.
Also in 2021 firms are still facing cyberattacks, due to the invented ways such as phishing, ransomware and IoT attacks among others. And according to a security study, 81 large global companies reported data breaches. This was in 2020 in the first quarter. The sad truth is experts believe the numbers will grow this year by 80 %.
Unfortunately, small businesses haven’t been let out and Filipinos have fallen victims to cyberattacks. Some of them even had to shut down their operations, considering a large percentage have small firms. According to recent study enterprises with less than 500 employees lose about $ 2.5 million on average per attack. That cripples the firm, in the long run, leaving it bankrupt.
For this reason, you need to be concerned about your cybersecurity and how to prevent it. Hence, we are going to discuss ways to prevent your small business from cyberattacks.
What is a cyberattack?
It refers to unauthorized access to data or information to alter, steal, disable, destroy or expose. Additionally, statistics state 47 % of small businesses get hacked once a year. That’s a worrying trend a has got business owners on their toes. So, you need to make a move to protect your data and information, But what should you do? That’s a question we’ll answer later on in the article under how to protect your small business from cyberattacks?
Types of Cyberattacks
Now that you understand what a cyberattack is, it’s time to learn more about the kinds of attacks. As we mentioned earlier there have been creative ways which hackers use to access information or data from your frim. They are;
This happens when a hacker sends you an email or text claiming to be from a reputable firm. They could pretend to be from your bank or insurance firm. And in most cases, the email or text usually comes with a link attached for you to it.
If you proceed to click the link the black hat/hacker gains access to your sensitive information. This includes your credit card, website, and business logins.
Malware is what we commonly refer to as a virus. Though hackers have evolved from using the virus to destroy information, but to seek compensation. This is what is known as ransomware. In this case, you are required to part with a lot of cash to prevent the negative consequences. A good example is the Software AG Ransomware attack that happened in October 2020. The attackers demanded a $20 million ransom. In the long run the firm ended up upgrading the system since the ransom wasn’t paid.
C. Man-in- the middle attack
Lastly, the man-in-the-middle attack happens when hackers intercept communications between you and your clients or suppliers. During this process, they can steal account and login details which they use to dry your accounts. In most cases, the attack happens in public Wi-Fi hot spots. Once you are connected they can monitor your online activities which they use to their advantage to swindle your cash.
So how do you protect your business from this danger?
1. Getting educated and be smart about your credentials
It’s the first step toward protecting your business from cyber-attacks. Learning the do’s and don’ts helps to protect your data. Furthermore, there are online courses that educate about internet security. For example, the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is held every October. Book a spot and learn more about your data security.
Now that you know what’s expected of you and the business, you must be smart about your passwords. This starts with the number of characters in the password. A good password should have at least eight characters and they include; letters, numeric and symbols. This makes it harder for external users to guess the password.
Additionally, the employees should be allowed to come up with their passwords to make them easier to remember. And if you are dealing with sensitive information that needs to be kept away from the third party, the login credentials should involve multiple authentication verification. That improves your system security and protects your data from hackers.
2. Having a Cybersecurity plan
The next step of preventing cyber-attacks is training your employees and having an incident response plan. By training your employees you can prevent the attacks since they understand what’s expected of them and the repercussions it involves.
For example, training them would inform them not to respond or open email attachments that have not been sent by the firm.
On the other hand, having an incident report plan also helps in case the attacks happen. It includes where to report the matter, the measures to undertake to limit the extent of the attacks, and the experts to handle the issue. That reduces the effects of the attacks on the business and helps to keep the business safe and secure from future attacks.
3. Increase security
Increasing your security levels matters as well. In the current century, a lot of emails are sent from either your clients or suppliers to your business. That means there are a lot of emails sent in a day and your employees can open malicious ones.
For this reason, we recommend educating the employees not to open malicious emails. Also, you could try to encrypt the mail so the intended recipient needs a password to access it. This limits the risk of getting hacked.
On the other hand, we suggest using antivirus and firewall. That’s because they act as a digital shield from malicious programs. Moreover, you should ensure the firewall has virus scanning capabilities to identify malware before they begin to corporate your business.
At the same time, your Wi-Fi network needs to be secure. This can be done by encrypting it or even hiding it from the public. Hence your clients won’t recognize the network and make an attempt to join.
4. Protect your payment processors
Since your business has moved its services and products online it’s vital to have a safe payment processor. Therefore, we endorse working with your financial providers to ensure your system uses the most updated programs. The move not only protects the business but your clients which build good consumer relationships.
Cyber-attacks have become a norm due to baseness operations being transferred online. For this reason, you need to ensure your business uses the latest system and updates are done as scheduled.
However, to carry the need maintenance and training needs cash and if you don’t have it Robocash has got your back. You can learn the 5 best ways to pay your bills in the Philippines by this link. The online lender offers you emergence loans which help in coving the overheads in your business while carrying out system maintenance or integration.