If you’re running a small business, it can be easy to have a false sense of security when it comes to your IT setup. News reports of hackers targeting major corporations can feel remote and it’s easy to think that you have nothing that a hacker or cybercriminal would be interested in regarding your business.
Unfortunately, that’s definitely not the case. Small businesses across the UK and the world have been crippled by cyber attacks. Some businesses have been forced to shut down completely or faced huge fines because of data protection breaches. In this article, we’ll look at some of the biggest cybersecurity threats and the impact that they could have on your business.
This is one of the biggest threats to any business. The authors of ransomware generally don’t discriminate between businesses, they don’t really care who they hurt. They will distribute their malware using automated means and try to extract money from any person or business that they can. Ransomware encrypts data stored on your computer so you can’t gain any access to it and then tries to charge you to unlock it again. Often, the fees charged by ransomware authors can be eye-wateringly high (four-figure sums for each computer are not unknown) and there is no guarantee that their unlock will work anyway.
Ransomware attacks can be nearly impossible to reverse, so the best strategy is to make sure that your business is not hit in the first place. A robust cybersecurity strategy will help to protect you from these threats.
Your website is your virtual shop window. If it goes offline (or, even worse, is defaced) then your business’ reputation can quickly suffer. This sort of damage can be very difficult to undo so, as with ransomware, it’s best to make sure that it can’t happen in the first place. For starters, make sure that everyone with access to your website is using a strong password and following basic security protocol. You’d be amazed how easy it can be for bad practice to become established in a team – using the term password as your actual password is not as uncommon as you would think. Secondly, ensure that your website is kept up to date. If you’re using a platform like WordPress or plugins to get the most out of your website, then it’s vital that you install any security updates as soon as they become available.
Spending a little time thinking about your IT support and the security vulnerabilities that it faces could save you a lot of pain in the future. Even if you’re not an expert yourself, it’s important to make sure that you and everyone in your business keep your IT infrastructure safe. Prevention is far better than cure.