When hacking and data security comes to mind, you think of large corporations and government organizations with massive amounts of data stolen through super sophisticated hacker groups.
However, did you know that small business are at even greater risk than large ones? This is because smaller companies are often less focused on security and are generally more complacent regarding handling and protecting their data.
This is perfect for hackers who can easily take advantage of small businesses’ surprisingly large amounts of data. In addition, small businesses often have lax security measures and more to lose than larger companies, costing valuable time and resources to recover their data.
So what threats pose the most significant risks to your business right now? Let’s dive in and discover what they are and how to prevent them.
1. Weak Password
Passwords that are guessed easily and using the same passwords for multiple accounts can expose your business to unnecessary risk. These passwords are easily breached, and hackers can access sensitive information from every account used to run your business. If you use any third-party apps or software is a whole host of information.
Defending against weak passwords is straightforward. Encourage your team to create multiple complex passwords for all accounts. This protocol can make it difficult for hackers to compromise passwords and access your data. Use password management systems to keep solid and secure passwords for all accounts, all in one place.
2. Inside Risk
Internal data breaches from an inside risk pose a significant threat to all businesses. This includes someone working close to your business with access to secure data or a former employee who may be incentivized to steal data if they departed on bad terms. Someone could use this data to either steal or blackmail your business to get back at you or just from pure spite. So ensure you have robust data security awareness education for everyone involved in your company.
Phishing is when a hacker poses as a genuine contact or person within your company to steal information. Shockingly, the past five years have seen a 67% increase in phishing attacks.
Although basic education and security software can easily prevent these scams, these types of scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Scammers pose as someone within your company, typically in a higher position than the target. They will then request payment data or sensitive information through a fake but well-written, convincingly designed email template. These scams can seem natural and fool even the most tech-savvy and security-conscious employees.
To solve the phishing issue, use email security gateways on cloud-based email providers. This is much more difficult to breach. In addition, provide thorough, regular security awareness training to combat the issue.
Typically you’ll see ransomware scams in the form of a “your computer has been infected with X virus” message. You need to click on a link and buy software to remove it.
Unfortunately, unsuspecting victims, especially employees less tech-savvy, are fooled by these scams.
You can solve ransomware issues with basic security software and adequate awareness training for everyone involved with your company.
5. Natural Disaster
A lesser-known risk to your business data is a natural disaster. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or storms can threaten your business data. Damaging your facility where tech and data are kept can mean you lose data forever.
If destroyed, no one can access that data ever again. Or worse still not destroyed but fall into the wrong hands, you can lose access to that data forever. Therefore, you need to back things up with data recovery systems.
Secure Your Business
Small businesses are at risk of data breaches and are easy prey for hackers using automated systems to extract data. Unfortunately, small businesses have more to lose than large companies with the resources to invest in robust security systems and are substantially more difficult to breach.
While there are many things you can do to limit or prevent these risks, you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to data security. No matter the size of your business, one factor to consider is AML compliance. Ensure necessary KYC checks are in place to vet anyone you do business with or who has access to your data.