It is generally perceived that small businesses are immune to cyberattacks. These businesses are usually thought of as too small to be targeted by cyber criminals. However, in reality, SMEs are of equal risk of being victims to a cyberattack as large enterprises. But the difference lies in the fact that, for small businesses, recovering from an attack could be more expensive for fixing the damaged assets and reputation.
The percentage of attacks keep increasing and the cyber criminals keep getting smarter with automated technology. Yet, there are a number of small businesses that do not include security planning and strategies for their business. As a cybersecurity solution provider in Ahmedabad we wish to ensure that SMEs are not only aware of the risks, but also have the means to mitigate them as and when required.
Let’s tale a look at what kind of cyber attacks pose a threat to SMEs
What are the cyber threats to SMEs?
Internal attacks are usually an ignored concept. But, many times internal employees, rogue employees, can more easily get access to the systems and disrupt services or take away classified information which could be a business threat in itself.
Phishing and spear phishing
Phishing remains one of the most effective methods by which cyber criminals introduce themselves into organisations. Phishing is getting more and more sophisticated too. With spear phishing, a more targeted approach is used in which phishing emails are sent such that they appear to originate from someone the recipient knows and trusts. It could be someone like a senior manager or a client etc. Employees are tricked into clicking on a malicious link that unleashes a ransomware attack. This ransomware then gains access to the internal network and locks down devices and spreads throughout the network. Until some kind of ransom is paid (which is decided by the attacker), the business will not be able to access their computers and systems again.
Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) is catastrophic and operate by overwhelming a server with continuous requests until the entire bandwidth is consumed and the services of that server are inaccessible. While it may not be possible to completely stop a DDoS attack, businesses can make provisions for absorbing the increased traffic that ultimately gives the business more time to respond.
Malware is unwanted software that gets installed on the machine and performs tasks that the cyber attacker intends to – rendering the programs unusable. Spyware, adware, bots and trojans are other types of malware that could gain access to your machines and impact the daily business processes. Implementing a powerful antivirus technology could help prevent malware attacks. Plus, it’s necessary to keep your software updated such as anti-virus, firmware and operating systems.
With SQL injections, hackers can steal or tamper with the database that supports the web application. Malicious SQL commands are sent to the database server to gain access and code is input that disrupts the services – or the attacker gets information required. This malicious code could be typically in the form of inputting code that asks users to fill forms with login or registrations when exposes their credentials.
Many SMEs encourage employees to bring their own devices to work. BYOD is another major security risk. With this, businesses are vulnerable to data theft, especially if employees bring unsecure mobile devices and share data via the organisation’s network. These devices are all potential security risks. Well, SMEs must ensure that they have proper procedures in place for how to handle BYOD and baselining of minimum-security requirements must be enforced.
Although there cannot be a fool proof solution to cyber-attacks, there are ways and means SMEs can use to minimize the damage. To reduce the risk for various types of probable attacks, SMEs must tighten their internal security by identifying privileged accounts that have significant access to the internal systems. The accounts of ex-employees and those that aren’t currently in use, can be deactivated or deleted. Tracking unusual activity should be a continuous process and businesses must ensure that they have secure backups of all the systems and data so that it can be restored if need be. To mitigate the risk of phishing or ransomware, it’s essential to ensure that your staff is trained on the dangers of clicking on unknown links or opening fishy emails. Further, to prevent SQL injection, the safeguards placed on the database via code should be strong, apart from the overall IT security implemented within your organisation.
It is recommended that you get your complete business environment thoroughly tested by cybersecurity consultants in Gujarat and then implement the best security measures for your business.
Cyber criminals’ resort to automated processes that have become more and more difficult to trace after the damage is done. But, as cyber security technology advances and evolves, it also gets easier to monitor, trace and mitigate these attacks. The idea is to not fall prey to the notion that small businesses do not have anything to offer cybercriminals. Many small businesses together form a very lucrative target for attackers. It’s up to us to protect our systems, data and confidential information by taking the security up – one notch at a time in an effort to eliminate the risk of attacks altogether.
As a cyber security provider in Gujarat, we offer expert consultation to SMEs to set up cost effective security measures in place that can handle cyber attacks of all the major types.