Cyberattacks Can Disrupt Your Small Business
In recent years, major corporations have been the target of devastating cyberattacks. While each corporate cyberattack resulted in millions of dollars in losses, most news reports fail to mention the numerous data breaches that affect much smaller targets: small businesses. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of breaches affected SMBs.
While the damage caused by a cyberattack can be significant, many small businesses believe that they are not at risk. This mistaken belief is often due to a lack of understanding of the types of attacks and how they work.
With this in mind, we’ve created a primer on some of the most common types of cyberattacks. By understanding how these attacks work, you can take steps to protect your business.
1. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks
A denial of service attack attempts to make a computer or network resource unavailable to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic or requests for data until the system is overwhelmed and can no longer respond to legitimate requests.
2. Phishing Attacks
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which the attacker attempts to trick the victim into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware. Phishing attacks are often carried out via email, with the attacker sending a message that appears to be from a trusted source. The message may contain a link that leads to a malicious website or an attachment that contains malware.
3. Malware Attacks
Malware is short for malicious software and refers to any software specifically designed to cause damage to a computer system. Malware can be installed on a system without the user’s knowledge and can be used to steal data, lock the user out of the system, or even take control of the system.
4. SQL Injection Attacks
SQL injection attacks are a type of attack that exploits vulnerabilities in SQL databases. By entering specially crafted text into a web form or URI, the attacker can execute arbitrary SQL commands on the database server. That can allow the attacker to access sensitive data, modify or delete data, or even take control of the server.
5. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A distributed denial of service attack is similar to a regular DoS attack. Still, instead of using a single computer to generate the traffic, the attacker uses a network of computers, known as a botnet. Botnets can be huge, with some estimates suggesting that there are tens of millions of infected computers worldwide.
By understanding these common types of cyberattacks, you can take steps to protect your business. Implementing strong security measures and awareness training for your employees can go a long way in preventing your business from becoming a victim.
Why do cyberhackers go after small businesses?
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. There are several reasons for this:
- Small businesses often have weaker security measures than larger businesses. That can make them an easier target.
- Small businesses may not have the resources to respond to a cyberattack appropriately.
- Small businesses are often seen as an easier target than large businesses and may be less likely to have cyber insurance.
- Small businesses are often more reliant on IT systems than larger businesses, making them more vulnerable to malware and other attacks.
- Small businesses may not have the same awareness about cyberattacks as larger businesses.
If you are a small business owner, it is essential to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect your business. Implementing strong security measures, training your employees, and having cyber insurance can help you reduce your risk of becoming a cyberattack victim.
Cybersecurity best practices
To protect against malware, small companies should implement a software-based solution. Small businesses should also use certain technological best practices and rules to fortify vulnerabilities.
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Install updates and patches for your operating system and software as soon as they become available.
- Use a firewall to protect your network from unauthorized access.
- Train your employees in cybersecurity best practices, such as not opening email attachments from unknown senders or clicking on links in suspicious emails.
- Back up your data regularly and store the backups securely.
- Practice your incident response plan, so you know what to do in the event of a cyberattack.
- Invest in cyber security services to help offset the costs of a breach.
By following these best practices, you can make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to target your business.