Reports on major data breaches break the news once every few days. Regardless of the size, any company can be vulnerable to various cyberattacks, but the smallest businesses are the easiest targets. Find out what you can do to protect your organization.
The largest companies are usually the best protected when it comes to cyber threats. The reasoning is quite simple – the bigger the company, the more resources it can devote to its IT and cybersecurity departments.
It’s not that the big dogs are never attacked – even companies like Microsoft deal with their share of cybercriminals. However, smaller businesses are targeted more often.
Smaller Companies Are at Greater Risk
According to Tripwire, small businesses suffered 152% more data breaches in 2020 and 2021 compared to the previous two years. This comes as no surprise. 2020 and 2021 were overshadowed by a global pandemic that forced most companies to move online. While large organizations had the resources to adapt and overcome the new situation, SMBs had a more challenging time.
What does it mean if a company is well protected against cyber threats?
- It has a trained and experienced security team.
- Its employees are educated in cyber security.
- It has access to advanced software and tools.
As you can easily imagine, the takeaways listed above are not the cheapest. Large companies can afford entire departments dedicated to their security, but small and medium-sized businesses have to improvise.
Why Are Smbs Targeted More Frequently?
Money is not the only factor in protecting against cyber criminals. Large organizations take their security seriously because they are the most profitable targets.
Hackers are well aware of this. They know that breaching a big company requires resources and team effort, so some of them instead focus on smaller and weaker prey. Representatives of small and medium-sized companies often think cybercriminals won’t pay attention to them, which has proven untrue.
Another issue is that SMB owners often underestimate what it takes to recover from a data breach or attack. The truth is, when a company faces a ransomware attack, it doesn’t have to pay for the data recovery only. The costs of legal procedures or lost productivity can seriously cripple its funds.
Last but not least, publicity and trust are also important. While large companies can afford to lose some of their customers and contractors without going bankrupt, small businesses have to care about their reputation.
What Can Be Done to Protect a Company From Cyber Threats?
Both large and small companies can be vulnerable to cyber threats, but the latter have it more difficult. In the post-pandemic world, there is a growing demand for remote services and jobs. Organizations are expected to work online, but it is not that simple – especially regarding security.
So What Can You Do to Protect Your Business?
- Limit your employees’ access to data. If every one of your workers has access to every portion of client and contractor data, you risk losing that information. It only takes one person to (willingly or not) leak sensitive data and generate huge losses.
- Invest in security tools. Nowadays, almost every business operates online. Sending, storing, and receiving data comes with risks, so it’s worth investing in the right security tools. An additional firewall, a secure VPN, and a good antivirus can help you fight hackers trying to access your data.
- Create data backups. Sometimes a backup can save your life after an attack or even a system malfunction. If you’re not already backing up your information, start immediately.
- Educate people. Have you ever heard of phishing? If not, you should learn about it and teach your employees. Criminals use phishing to scam their victims by convincing them that they are contacting someone they trust – a coworker or a company CEO, for example. In recent years, phishing has become one of the most effective methods of stealing data from individuals and companies.
- Keep your software up to date. Many cyber attacks occur because organizations fail to update their software. Hackers look for vulnerabilities and exploit them to get into corporate networks, steal data, or distribute malware. These vulnerabilities can be addressed. System updates exist because they patch holes so hackers can no longer exploit them.
Teach Yourself About Online Security
These days, every business should invest in online security. Thieves and criminals no longer operate only in dark alleys. When it comes to cyber threats, preparedness is the best protection.