From a careless employee to a malware infiltration, there are several security threats that small businesses face everyday. But knowledge is power. Here are nine of the biggest security threats your business faces. By understanding them, you can secure your business smarter.
Careless or Uninformed Employees
All it takes is one click on a malicious email or a forgotten unlocked iPhone on a taxi seat for a careless employee to put your business at risk for a security breach. In fact, employees who are not trained in security basics are more likely to visit unauthorized websites on your computers, click on links in suspicious emails, open email attachments, or have weak passwords. All of these pose an enormous security threat to your systems and data.
Disgruntled employees have found a way to make their ex-employers pay — cyber crime. Today large companies are as concerned about insider threats as they are outsider threats. Small businesses need to understand that this could happen to them, too.
Today encryption is an essential aspect of keeping businesses secure. Storing critical data without encryption is the equivalent of painting a big target on your company’s back.
Your systems are more vulnerable when employees use mobile devices to access company information and share data and files. As a result, as more companies allow their employees to use their own devices at work, they increase their exposure to malware and other security issues.
Passwords are the first line of defense in keeping cybercriminals out of your systems. Experts advise businesses and individuals to create strong passwords. Experts say that length is one of the best ways to create good passwords. Aim for over 60 letters, numbers, and symbols. And change them frequently, such as every 30 to 60 days.
These are network devices, like routers, and printers, that use software or firmware, but have not yet received a patch for known vulnerabilities. This leaves an exploitable device in your network, waiting for attackers to find it and use it to gain access to your data.
Third-party Service Providers
As technology becomes more specialized and complex, companies are relying more on outsourcers and vendors to support and maintain systems. However, third parties typically use remote access tools to connect to the company’s network, but don’t always follow security best practices. For example, they’ll use the same default password to remotely connect to all of their clients. If a hacker guesses that password, the hacker immediately gains a foothold into the entire network.
Small-Time Cyber Criminals
We all know that large cyber crime syndicates are a threat. But many small businesses fail to recognize that small-time cyber criminals can be an even bigger threat for them. By nature, they tend to prefer attacking smaller businesses, because they find it easier to steal identities and passwords so they can fraudulently use your credit cards or make banking transactions in your name.
IT Skill Set Gap
Back in the old days, having IT skills meant knowing how to put up a firewall. But IT has matured. In today’s world of multifaceted infrastructure and sophisticated cyber attacks, it takes a highly specialized and adaptive IT professional to apply security solutions to the myriad of security challenges business face today. One of the biggest security threats facing small businesses is not having the skill set required to keep their IT systems safe. This “skill set gap” puts their security at risk.
Despite the large number of security threats facing small businesses today, there is one simple way for them to counter every risk. They can hire a professional IT outsource partner to secure their systems from every security threat.