Cyber Security and the Critical Role It Plays for Small Businesses

Cyber Security and Small Businesses

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for many businesses and industries. Despite raising awareness of the dangers posed by these threats, many businesses still don’t have the right processes and protection measures in place. This can be a major risk to the company’s finances, infrastructure, and reputation.

In this article, we’ll explore cyber security, particularly how it pertains to small businesses. We’ll also examine some of the biggest threats you should be aware of. Finally, we’ll also share a few strategies you can implement to protect your business, such as using various proxies, like a German proxy from Smartproxy, to add extra protection to your network.

Why Is Cyber Security Crucial for Small Businesses?

Small businesses are an ideal target for cybercriminals for a few reasons. The main ones are that they don’t have the same financial resources to invest in digital and online security. This means it’s much easier for hackers and cybercriminals to get into these systems than those of large multinational corporations.

Employee training in small businesses is often lacking or not seen as necessary. However, this makes employees ideal targets as they may unknowingly create soft openings for attackers to exploit and gain access to your network and systems. This can happen by an employee leaving a note on their desk with their login and password details or accidentally leaving confidential company documents open while not at their desk.

Cyber-attacks can be devastating for small businesses. Not only do you have to deal with the loss of intellectual property, and damages to hardware, systems, and reputation. But there are also significant financial losses attributed to data breaches. Depending on the type of damage caused by the attack, it can affect your business’s income. Some businesses are even left without an income stream as the battle to get things back up and running after an attack. 

Through ransomware attacks, valuable company data can be held hostage at a high price. Finally, new regulations, such as GDPR, are stepping in and demanding more security related to personal data. Suppose a breach occurs, and it’s discovered that the business didn’t have the appropriate protection measures in place to avoid it. In that case, the business could face millions of dollars in fines – enough to break any small business.

Biggest Cyber Security Threats Facing Businesses

There are numerous cyber security threats facing businesses and individuals. The list is also growing as cyber criminals discover new ways to bypass security protocols and exploit businesses. The three most popular attacks small businesses face are phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware – although these aren’t the only types of attacks used.

Phishing attacks aim to get users to provide confidential information that the attacker can use to gain access to the company network or system. These often appear in an email and will ask the user to confirm certain confidential information – such as login credentials and passwords. These attacks are made very professionally and identifying them is becoming more difficult.

Malware, or malicious software, can be downloaded when employees access certain websites, download certain apps or even click on particular ads. These can cause significant damage to the network or system – from spying and collecting confidential data to slowing down all work processes.

Ransomware attacks are growing in popularity, especially among small businesses. In these attacks, the attacker gains access to a business’s entire network and all their data. They hold this hostage until the company pays them a significant sum to release it.

Protecting Businesses from Cyber Security Threats

Let’s look at a few simple strategies small businesses can start implementing now to protect against cyber-attacks.

Proxies

Proxies are a great tool to add an additional layer of security to your network. Since they change your IP address, hackers can’t use this information to gain access to your servers. A good idea is to use location-specific options, like a German proxy. Using a German proxy will give you an IP address based in Germany. This will make it exceedingly difficult for hackers to track you.

Cyber Security Protection Plan

No matter how big or small your business is, you need a cyber security protection plan. This will act as a guide to all your protection processes. How are you protecting company data, identifying and reporting threats, and what to do in case of a breach?

Limiting File Access

Limit file access only to the employees that require it. This makes it easier to monitor and keep your data safe.

Enforcing Strong Password Protection Protocols

Ensure your employees use strong passwords, possibly even two-factor authentication when accessing company systems or data. 

Employee Training

Employee training is crucial. Your employees need to be trained in how to protect data, how to identify threats, how report threats, and how to respond to threats.

Final Thoughts

Data security is a growing concern amongst businesses, and small businesses are no exception. Don’t think that because you’re a small business you’re safe because many criminals are targeting small businesses because their protections aren’t as strong.

Ensure you implement security procedures, such as using a German proxy, strong passwords, and access controls to protect your data and your business.

David is a technology specialist who has been writing about business, technology, and IT-related topics for the past 6 years. He loves working with brands to develop content that helps them connect with their target audience.