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Monday, December 11, 2023

5 Cyber Security Threats Small Businesses Need to be Aware of in 2023

Kaspersky finds that cyber attacks in 2022 increased by 5 percent compared to 2021. Businesses are always major targets of these attacks, which is why you must be vigilant when it comes to protecting your company data from these threats and cybercriminals.

Having said all that, let us look into five cyber security threats that all small businesses must be aware of in 2023, as knowing about them will help you better prepare yourself and your business to fight off the attacks.

#1 Ransomware

The most prominent threat in cyber security is ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents users from accessing their computers until they pay a ransom to the criminals. The criminals can take control of your files, lock you out of your system, and demand payment for the release of your computer’s data.

The purpose of this type of attack is to profit from computer users’ fears. Ransomware is typically installed through social engineering, and it often uses a Trojan horse. The FBI has stated that ransomware is one of the most pervasive types of cybercrimes today.

Get in touch with a local IT company to learn more about how ransomware works and how you can protect yourself from these attacks. The IT firm can also help you set up the necessary cyber security infrastructure to protect your business not just from ransomware but from all types of cyber threats.

In 2022, 200 U.S. public organizations were victims of ransomware attacks, as reported by BleepingComputer. As a result, a huge volume of public data was compromised. Thus, it’s evident that no one is safe from these attacks.

#2 Insider Threats

Insider threats are a serious threat to small businesses, and they can come from anywhere.

In the past, insider threats were typically employees who were disgruntled and wanted to do harm to their employers. Now, however, the definition of an insider has expanded to include contractors or business partners that have access to company networks. These people may be motivated by financial gain or by a desire to sabotage a company’s reputation or operations.

The best way for businesses to protect themselves against these types of threats is through vigilance about their employees’ behavior and network activity. This means having strong security measures in place as well as regular training programs for all staff members on how to spot suspicious behavior from other employees.

#3 Malware

Malware is one of the most common threats that small businesses face. It’s also one of the most damaging because it can infect your business’s computer systems and steal data or money.

Malware can come in different forms, such as a virus, worm, Trojan horse, spyware, or ransomware. It can spread through email attachments and downloads from untrusted websites.

It’s important to protect yourself against malware by using anti-virus software that updates regularly and installing firewalls on all computers and servers within your network. You should also scan new devices before connecting them to your network and make sure all employees are aware of the dangers of clicking on links in emails from unknown senders or downloading files from unknown sources.

#4 Phishing

Phishing is a cyber security threat that small businesses need to be aware of in 2023. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your username and password, credit card information, or other sensitive information by pretending to be someone they’re not.

One way phishing works is through emails that pretend to be from a company you trust. The email might say something like, “your account has been suspended because we noticed suspicious activity on your account.” 

The email will have a link you need to click on to get back into your account, but the link will actually take you somewhere else where someone will try to steal your personal information. They might pretend they’re from your bank or another financial institution, like PayPal or Venmo.

The best way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to educate yourself on how they work, be wary when you receive any kind of email or text message that asks for personal information, and never click on links in suspicious messages.

#5 Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a form of cybercrime that is on the rise. It involves an attacker gaining access to the email account of a business and then using that access to impersonate the business and send fraudulent emails to steal money or personal information.

The most common way that BEC happens is when someone impersonates an executive at the company by sending an email requesting a wire transfer or asking for information that would help them access accounts or computers. The attacker will usually request that their reply be sent to an email address outside of the company’s domain so they can’t be traced.

The best way to prevent BEC is by ensuring standard email and monetary transaction practices at the workplace such that these attacks can be identified within seconds.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime will cost the entire world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Thus, if you’re a business owner, you must take all the steps necessary to avoid falling prey to cybercrime. 

Otherwise, the costs you must bear to recover from these attacks will punch a giant hole in your wallet. Start by taking precautions against the threats mentioned above, and then gradually move towards other threats.