Cybercrime is a big problem for small businesses, and as 68% of global organizations have experienced at least one cyber attack, it’s only getting worse. The cost of cybercrimes is forecasted to reach $9.5 trillion in 2024, with small businesses being a popular target. Another study revealed that 37% of small business owners felt their businesses were vulnerable to a cyberattack in the next year, stating they didn’t believe they had enough resources to protect themselves adequately.
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise
According to recent research from Accenture, 43% of cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses, with only 14% being able to defend themselves against attacks. These numbers reflect the broader trend of an increasingly unsafe world. As technology advances and becomes more interconnected, cyberattacks are becoming more difficult to defend against, resulting in more and more small businesses becoming the victims of cybercrime.
Some of the trending cybersecurity threats that experts say to be aware of in 2024 include:
- Business email attacks
- Malware and ransomware threats
- Crypto scams and “pig butchering”
- Cybercrime cash-out processes with cryptocurrencies
- Crime as-a-service
The only way to protect your small business from cybercrime is to take preventive action.
Cyber hackers are going to continue to become more aggressive,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President of BBB Central East Texas said. “The good news is that you can take measures to strengthen the security measures and reduce risk for your small business.”
Cybersecurity practices for small business
Often due to lack of resources, small businesses are more susceptible to cyber-attacks and data breaches. BBB provides the following recommendations to help protect your business.
Train your employees. Training your team on the best cybersecurity practices ensures that your employees understand the risks associated with accessing company data and systems, and it provides them with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect themselves from cybercrime. Provide them with clear cybersecurity policies that explain the risks, the defenses in place, and the steps they can take to protect themselves. You can also offer formal cybersecurity training programs to ensure they are up to date on the latest threats and solutions.
Implement role-based access control (RBAC). Protect your data and systems from cyberattacks by implementing role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC allows you to assign specific permissions to different employees based on their role in the company, controlling who has access to what data.
For instance, you can grant certain employees access to the company’s email system, and grant others access to the company’s digital sales platform. This ensures that employees only have access to the systems and data required to do their job. It also prevents employees from accessing sensitive data that they don’t need, reducing their risk of becoming a victim of data theft.
Initiate automated remote backup and data recovery. Initiate automated remote backup and data recovery, which will allow you to store an extra copy of your data offsite in a secure location.
An automated remote backup and data recovery solution not only safeguards your data from cyberattacks, but it also provides you with the ability to restore your data in the event of a data breach.
Employ multi-factor authentication (MFA) MFA requires users to provide additional information to prove their identity when accessing company data and systems beyond just their username and password. This additional information may include a code texted to your mobile device, a thumbprint, and, provides an added layer of security if a cybercriminal circumvents your password.
Secure your Wi-Fi networks. Properly securing your Wi-Fi networks helps to ensure your employees are connecting to a safe network when they access the internet through your business. You can secure your Wi-Fi networks by using a VPN to encrypt internet traffic that passes through, using a firewall to block cybercriminals and using a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) to detect and block cyberattacks.
Learn more about protecting yourself against cyber attacks.
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