We have only just reached the half-way mark of the year, and already a multitude of cyberattacks have plagued the world. Cyberattacks have, in fact, increased so much in the first half of the year that it is expected to cost the world in excess of $6 trillion by next year, according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures. This rapid growth is proof that cybercriminals have shifted a lot of their focus from large corporations towards small and medium-sized business entities (SMBs). As it has been estimated that up to 60% of SMBs who fall victim to a data breach will be out of business within six months, it is of vital importance to not only be aware of the various cybersecurity threats, but also know how to prevent and address them should they rear their malicious heads.
BYOD presents various pitfalls
Over the past few years, an increasing number of SMBs have started to encourage employees to bring their own mobile devices to work. While bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies may give employees access to various networks, software, internal systems and classified information, it also exposes them to a host of security threats. Dealing with data losses, software security weaknesses and malware is difficult enough when company hardware is being utilized. Every personal mobile device that is brought to the SMB increases the number of these attack vendors and make them more difficult to address. It is pivotal that SMBs re-evaluate their BYOD policies and put systems in place that will minimize the associated risks. Some of the most effective tools to employ include remote locking mechanisms to prevent data from being compromised on a stolen or lost device, as well as biometric authentication.
Cloud-based attacks continue to increase
At present, the majority of SMBs utilize the cloud in one way or another. This ranges from using cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox to relying on SaaS applications, including Microsoft Office 365. As more SMBs move to the cloud, the number of cloud-based attacks will undoubtedly continue to increase. Inadequate cloud security can amplify the risk of a data breach significantly. Apart from malware infections and compliance concerns, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks also pose an enormous threat to cloud users. In order to reap the countless benefits the cloud has on offer, SMBs need to make the effort to develop sound cloud security protocol. Early threat detection is pivotal as it can reduce the damage inflicted by a data breach significantly. End-to-end encryption is among the most fundamental forms of protection, while virtual and physical endpoint security solutions can add additional protective layers of encryption to a cloud-based presence.
Insider threats are very real
Another colossal threat that SMBs are faced with is insider threats caused by the malicious or careless actions of current employees, former employees, associates, or contractors who can gain access to vital company data. According to a report issued by Verizon in 2017, as many as 25% of breaches are a result of insider threats. In order to effectively reduce the risk of these insider threats, SMBs need to make sure that a robust cybersecurity culture exists within the company. Privileged accounts need to be identified in a timely manner, and tools need to be implemented to track all activity associated with these accounts. By doing this, a rapid response can be actioned as soon as the questionable activity is detected.
An increasing number of SMBs are being faced with cybersecurity threats. Thankfully, being aware of the various threats and knowing how to combat them can go a long way to ensuring that your SMB remains as safe as possible.