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Cybersecurity - not something a small business has to worry about, right? Hackers are only interested in big firms and big data aren’t they? Wrong and wrong again. Small businesses are just as vulnerable to cybersecurity threats as larger ones – possibly even more so. To help you out as a small business owner, here are the top cybersecurity threats you may face in 2020. First of all remember, It’s not just about data. You may think that loss of your data is a major problem, but there are so many more threats you need to guard yourselves against. The following are just as much as a threat and likely to be more so in the next 12 months.
DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack is a disruption to normal traffic on your server, service or even your whole network, achieved by inundating the infrastructure with an overload of internet traffic. So, if your customers can’t get to your site, or their visit to your site or social media platforms is slowed, they may go somewhere else. Like a traffic jam, the process stops normal traffic from getting to its destination – your website. The goal is to exhaust your online resources – not good in today’s connected world. The good news is that an effective Web Application Firewall can, with the right custom rules defend your system from these attacks.
We are all familiar with the need to clean our systems regularly, but malware (malicious software) is being increasingly used to get access to information about your business without your knowledge. Yes, these are a form of virus and can be devastating to your secure data, personal information and financials, especially if your small business is based in a niche market.
The worst kind of malware is known as ransomware, such as Wannacry and Thunderclap, where the hacker locks you out of your system till you pay a ransom – this form of malware is increasing. So, it’s important to apply patching and system updates immediately to protect your system. Delays can be costly, as the UK’s NHS found out when they failed to apply patches and became victim to the Wannacry malware, losing high levels of personal data and information.
Avatar Hijacking and Identity Theft through social networks
Your social media sites are safe though, right? Wrong again, unfortunately. Hackers can post fake reviews, create facsimiles of your website, or Facebook page and create a myriad of problems for your social media presence, so this threat should not be taken lightly. So a focus on online reputation is vital, from ensuring that IP assets are registered and managed through the risk management programme. Equally as important, all IP assets need regular monitoring, testing and in a best case scenario registered as compliant with Digital Standards.
Overall, the best policy for a small business to combat cybersecurity threats is to ensure that they have a process of digital governance, checking all systems, updating and patching regularly to create the necessary blocks and obstacles that will mean it is not worth the time of a hacker to break. So invest in your blocks, firewalls and patches and keep the cybersecurity thieves out of your business.