In today’s world, cyber security infrastructure and awareness are prerequisites for the smooth running of almost every industry. It is mainly because cyber attacks have the potential to negatively affect an organization’s efficiency and output. Cyber security awareness is even more essential for small businesses as they are being plagued by a variety of cyber threats including cryptojacking, ransomware, phishing, password tracking attacks and advanced persistent threat attacks (APT).
The major reason for the presence of small businesses in the cyber criminals’ target range is the low complexity of their cyber security infrastructure. Reportedly, the most common challenges faced by a small business emanate from employees’ negligence. With limited resources and less complex infrastructure, generating awareness is the only way for small businesses to safeguard themselves against cyber threats.
According to National Cyber Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant, “To know how to defend yourself or your organization, it is important to understand how the attacks happen and what methodology do cyber attackers use to harm organizations.”
Risks Faced by Small Businesses Due to Inefficient Cyber Security Management
Gauging the vulnerabilities and leakages in any particular department is difficult until and unless it is put to test. In absence of such introspection, a small business risks losing a lot of valuable time and money. The major risks faced by small businesses include-
- Cyber attackers can steal an employee’s credentials to carry out a number of criminal activities like identity theft and targeted spear-phishing attacks. They can also use these stolen credentials to access your company’s corporate network.
- A compromised cyber security infrastructure can lead to a data breach and the loss or exposure of sensitive information.
- Successful payment frauds or theft of sensitive bank details and passwords can result in substantial monetary losses for the company and its employees.
- Recovery from a cyber attack including the costs of cleaning up the systems can serve as a huge financial hit.
- Damaged reputation and the loss of customer base are other major consequences of suffering a cyber attack.
Upping the Ante
Adopting the best cyber security practices has become a vital step for all small businesses to stay afloat. The following are some effective measures that small business organizations can take to secure their data and systems-
- Deploy cyber security awareness tools where employees are subjected to a cyber attack drill and their reaction towards such a dummy attack is recorded and analyzed. These dummy attacks involve different attack vectors and customized templates to generate cyber security awareness.
- Regularly upgrade the already existing cyber security infrastructure to a more complex one.
- Use VAPT services to identify the vulnerabilities in your organization’s cyber security infrastructure and correct them as soon as possible.
- Remove the software and hardware that is no longer in use to prevent it from getting corrupted. Along with this, update the already existing software regularly.
- Employ cyber security experts who are equipped with the knowledge of dealing with cyber attacks in minimum reaction time.
- Restrict or ban the use of removable media in the organization to secure its digital infrastructure.
- Make sure the data is encrypted while posting any of it online, allowing only authorized users to access it.
- Restrict data access to a bare minimum for preventing data breaches and insider threats.
According to the trends observed globally, small business organizations bear the major brunt of cyber attacks as they don’t have sufficient reactionary capacity to defend themselves against such attacks. As recovering from a successful cyber attack can be an uphill task, cyber security awareness for the employees takes a front seat in such respect along with the review of the organization’s level of preparedness and reaction time.