Small enterprises are struggling to ward off potent threats to their well-being as the most chilling crimes are unfolding in cyberspace.
A recent survey points a 44% jump in the number of cyberattacks on small businesses. The crimes include phishing, ransomware, and malware attacks to name a few.
The report indicates that attacks on small businesses are on the rise due to poor security systems or zero implementation at workplaces. The research further shows that small businesses have no idea that they need to invest in tools necessary for safe online operations despite their perceived obscurity. The result is a minimal investment in cyber-secure workplaces, making the ground fertile for hackers to wreak financial losses on unsuspecting denizens!
Healthcare bore the brunt of relentless cyberattacks since the pandemic forced medical facilities to remain operational. Hospitals have medical prescriptions, appointments, and other critical data for criminals to sabotage. At a time when the world is facing its worst health crisis with an ever-rising toll of deaths and suffering, the disruption of medical facilities is a sobering reminder that cyber hackers will stop at nothing to stage their malicious strikes.
The increasing number of digital transactions, start-ups, and remote workplaces has made it imperative for these organizations to put in place stringent checks and balances. Given below are common online threats and various solutions businesses have at their disposal:
Phishing: The term phishing came into existence in the 90s. It is derived from the word fishing. Akin to anglers luring a catch, phishers send fraudulent emails to unsuspecting employees to trick them into revealing secret records. The solution is to be aware of screen pop-ups and not click on unknown links. Install phishing filters that stop those emails from reaching employee inboxes.
Ransomware: Ransomware attacks involve data theft and demanding ransom to restore operations. Businesses must cough up the ransom or risk losing sensitive information and customer trust.
Malware: Malware, the second most rampant cybercrime targeting small businesses, uses a series of disruptive codes that criminal programmers email to the employees. Malware either slows down the speed of operations or brings them to a halt. The assault gives hackers access to sensitive data.
Small businesses often bear the brunt of malware attacks. Organizations are indifferent to installing safety protocols. In addition, unprotected personal gadgets of remote working employees are significant carriers of viruses that cripple the rest of the network. Hybrid working cultures gaining ground have also contributed significantly to malware attacks as organizations do not normally impose centralized security mechanisms.
The solution is easy: installing good antivirus systems that firewall such malware. Employers should make it compulsory for employees to use only encrypted networks. Network encryption is a kind of software that layers data with codes. It protects information when in transit. It allows only designated users to access the data. Valid and updated operating systems also go a long way in preventing malicious operators from stalking users in cyberspace.
Enough has been said about the rules of setting a good password, but a little reminder never hurt anyone. Business owners and employees must keep the password strength formidable. Resist the temptation to use passwords such as all-too-familiar names. Take time to use your keyboard imaginatively, make the password long, write it down and keep it safe somewhere. Always prefer OTP-enabled navigation, at least in financial transactions.