6 min read

Signs Your Business Is an Easy Target for Hackers

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No business is entirely immune to facing a cybersecurity incident. It may be a data breach, a case of ransomware or a phishing email that puts your digital security at risk.

However, some companies are more vulnerable than others. It can be challenging to predict a cybersecurity attack, especially when cyber criminals become increasingly sophisticated in their methods.

You may be wondering what could make your business an easy target for hackers. What aspects of your company make it vulnerable to a cyberattack?

According to the 2021 CNBC and Momentive Small Business Survey, 56% of small-business owners said they weren't concerned about being hacked during the year. Of those respondents, 24% said they were 'not concerned at all.'

Most small companies don't consider themselves a target for hackers. It's a common misconception that they are less likely to face a cyberattack than their larger counterparts. Wouldn't cyber criminals want to go after the big guys?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. SMEs are considered low-hanging fruit. Cybercriminals find it easier to execute attacks on a small company than a large enterprise. 

Here are five signs that you might be easy to hack and some tips to strengthen your organisation's cybersecurity posture.

 

 
Learn how to improve your cybersecurity

Register for our next webinar on 30 June 2022, co-hosted with the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre.

INCREASED CYBER THREAT - UKRAINE CYBER WAR WEBINAR blog

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1. You Have No IT Support

It's less likely that an SME will have a dedicated individual or team of IT professionals to manage cybersecurity efforts. However, IT management is a vital part of every business.

Almost every company uses digital technology, even something as simple as emails, to communicate with employees. IT is a critical aspect of doing business. Small operations are still at risk of being hacked, and lacking IT support can signify that you're an easy target.

 

2. You Work With Sensitive Data

Cybercriminals tend to target organisations that work with sensitive information, such as companies in the health care, financial or government sectors. Some examples of confidential data include patient health records, customer credit card numbers and employee Social Security numbers.

Consider how privacy laws exist in the health care industry — businesses must comply to ensure patient data is protected. Your company may face significant consequences if this information is stolen in a cyberattack.

 

3. You Have Hybrid or Remote Employees

A recent study suggests that 43% of employees working from home have made a mistake that resulted in cybersecurity repercussions. Hackers are attacking businesses more now than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The significant shift to remote work opened up more hacking opportunities for cybercriminals. For example, suppose your employees bring their own devices (BYOD) to and from work or use public Wi-Fi networks. In that case, it can open your company up to more cybersecurity risks.

 

4. You Do Not Regularly Update Your Applications, Software or Systems

Another sign that you could be a hacking target is using outdated computer applications, software or operating systems (OS). A hacker only needs one old app, software or computer OS to execute their attack, get onto your company network and wreak havoc.

Hackers often build their attack strategy around the assumption that SMEs use outdated technology. Suppose a software company you use releases a security patch for a vulnerability, but you ignore it and wait to install the update. A cybercriminal can take advantage of this vulnerability and execute an attack on your company.

 

5. You Do Not Train Employees on Cybersecurity

A hacker may identify your organisation as an easy target if they learn you do not train your employees on cybersecurity.

Most security problems, especially in small companies, resulting from human error. A worker may click on a phishing link in an email or provide login information to a hacker posing as one of your other employees.

 

How SMEs Can Strengthen Their Cybersecurity Posture

Thankfully, plenty of online resources can help you and other small business owners improve their cybersecurity measures. Here are a few tips to strengthen your security posture to reduce the chances of being hacked.

  • Hire an IT professional: You can pay an IT professional or a third-party vendor to help evaluate your cybersecurity risks, install antivirus and anti-malware software, and educate you on the best cybersecurity practices for your business.

  • Use digital solutions to secure data: Installing firewalls, backing up data, using a password for your Wi-Fi network and implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) are all ways to keep your information secure. You can also consider encrypting your company data to protect against breaches.

  • Develop a BYOD and remote work policy: One tool companies with remote employees use is a virtual private network (VPN). Your remote employees can use a VPN to enhance your security measures and protect their accounts.

  • Create an application, software and OS update schedule: Consider making a schedule if you forget to install critical security updates. Every few weeks, check your apps, software and OS to ensure everything is running on the latest version.

  • Prioritise employee cybersecurity training: Training employees on cybersecurity is essential in today's high-risk cybersecurity landscape. You can even offer incentives for employee participation or rewards for having good cyber hygiene.

 

SME Cybersecurity Is Essential in 2022

Many SME owners put cybersecurity on the backburner, allowing cybercriminals to get their foot in the door. These attacks are increasing, and now is the time to understand what makes you an easy target and what actions you can take to improve your safety.

 

What should I do next?

If you need help reviewing your cyber resilience, we can help. Email support@superfast-it.com, or book a time directly with one of our security experts.

Schedule a call

 
Learn how to improve your cybersecurity

Register for our next webinar on 30 June 2022, co-hosted with the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre.

Register Now!

INCREASED CYBER THREAT - UKRAINE CYBER WAR WEBINAR blog

 

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