Most of the cyber-attacks that hit the news involve large corporations. The truth of the matter is, small companies are victims of attacks too. In fact, according to the 2018 data breach report by Verizon, the victims of 61% of cyber-attacks are small businesses.
Small businesses are good prey for cyber-attacks because:
- They have inferior cybersecurity measures compared to large businesses. According to
- Keep Security, only about 14% of small businesses can claim their protection against attacks and their ability to mitigate vulnerabilities to be effective.
- They have more data to exploit compared to an individual consumer.
In this era, most businesses heavily rely on technology, which increases their exposure to attacks. Therefore, it is a matter of ‘when’ an attack happens, not ‘if’. As such, cybersecurity should be a priority for small business owners. Attacks result in significant losses. 60% of the time, a small business goes under within six months of an attack .
The role of technology in invoicing
The major role of IT in small businesses is in online invoicing. The technology reduces costs, saves time and makes the tracking of money flow convenient. Like most criminals, hackers are interested in money. That is why they look for vulnerabilities in online invoicing systems. For instance, an attacker can easily track your invoices by compromising your email account. They will wait patiently, and once there is a request of transfer of funds, then, they will mislead you or your client into transferring money into their account.
Keeping valuable data
On the hands of a hacker, information is a treasure. Your business has a lot of valuable information such as customers’ credit card details and intellectual property such as innovative ideas.
Hackers can use a number of attacks to access data. One of the most common methods in recent years is the use of ransomware attacks. This is a type of malware that encrypts data restricting the owners’ access to their data. Once such an attack is successful, the hacker demands money in exchange for the data.
Note that, secure data transfer is crucial. Most attackers intercept data during transit, not in storage.
The use of cloud services
In the recent past, cloud services have become popular in the business world. The services are affordable and are an efficient and seemingly secure way of storing data.
Unfortunately, attacks on cloud services have increased and will continue to do so. This means that cyber risks for most small businesses that rely on cloud services will only increase.
The popularity of mobile and web apps
The use of mobile apps and web apps, especially for e-commerce activities is now the norm. But, often, business owners are distracted by the functionality of the apps and fail to recognize the appeal the apps have to attackers because of the wealth of information they hold.
Attackers are always looking for prey
Most importantly, cybersecurity should be a priority for any business owner as attackers are always looking for vulnerabilities. Exposed websites, networks, and servers get hacked every day. Research by Trend Micro found out that about four cyber-attacks take place every second.
The solution: Small business network security
Most vulnerabilities exist in your business network, and small business network security is no different. That is where you store data and conduct business processes such as invoicing. You must, therefore, take safety measures such as protecting your Wi-Fi and other connections and use secure networks such as VPNs. Again, it is imperative to regularly update your software and educate your employees on cybersecurity.