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6 Common Cyber Vulnerabilities That Disrupt Small Businesses

by Olufisayo
Published: Last Updated on
Cyber Vulnerabilities That Disrupt Small Businesses

Small businesses may feel that the biggest cybersecurity threats do not apply to them, but the reality is that organizations of every size stand a significant chance of suffering a breach.

Because of this, it is important for firms to stay up to date with the latest vulnerabilities and ensure that they are prepared to address them, rather than leaving themselves open to exploitation.

Here are six common issues that can cause disruption for small businesses, irrespective of the industry they occupy or the number of people they employ.

 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a rising concern on the malicious software scene, with a fifth of small businesses that are hit by this type of attack being permanently taken out of action.

This dangerous software can infiltrate business systems via fraudulent emails and phishing sites, then irrevocably encrypt important data until the victim agrees to fork out a steep sum to unlock it.

Attackers target employees with these scams, so using penetration testing (find out what this is) to check that staff are wise to their tactics will help avoid infection and disruption.

Poor Password Choice

Password-based security systems are used almost universally, but they can be cracked fairly easily with brute force methods used by hackers because many users choose codes that are very weak.

If attackers can simply fire thousands of guesses a second at a system until the right password is found, a breach can occur incredibly quickly.

Employees should be encouraged to pick passwords that are made up of random letters, numbers, and symbols. These should also be changed regularly and never re-used elsewhere to avoid further vulnerabilities emerging.

Denial of Service Attacks

A DDoS or Distributed Denial-of-Service attack is a process in which hackers go after multiple computer systems that appear to have gaps in them and cause a denial of service for those trying to access the targeted resource.

From targeted denial of service (DoS) attacks that focus on a single website or network to distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaigns that can take out an entire hosting infrastructure that houses a multitude of platforms, these assaults are surprisingly common.

Small businesses can take measures to protect themselves, but with even major providers suffering disruption, it is impossible to ensure complete immunity.

Employee Error

Many data loss incidents and cybersecurity breaches suffered by small businesses come down to mistakes made by employees.

From accidental malware downloads to data-packed devices being left on public transport, there is a multitude of potential problems that can be tackled through thorough training and comprehensive security policies.

Deliberately disruptive actions executed by rogue employees are also something to think about, especially in relation to incidents in which individuals make an acrimonious exit from a business and might hold a grudge while still having access to core systems.

BYOD

This ties in with employee errors but is more closely linked with the current trend for using personal portable devices for business purposes.

Small businesses that do not want to dissuade this practice will need to ensure that they embrace bring your own device (BYOD) culture in a secure way, rather than allowing it to remain a flaw which is ripe for exploitation.

Mobile device management (MDM) software can shore up security and keep tabs on the way that smartphones are used in a business setting.

Wireless Connectivity

Internal networks can be compromised remotely, but security measures protecting them from this type of attack tend to be fairly tough. On the other hand, wireless access points are often less well protected, which gives cybercriminals an opportunity to break in with relative ease.

This not only applies to Wi-Fi hotspots operated by small businesses for customers and employees but also other forms of short-range connectivity such as Bluetooth. As more devices require web access to function, taking a hard line on securing wireless networks is crucial.

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