Can SMEs Protect Their Data from Cyberattacks?

Can SMEs Protect Their Data from Cyberattacks?

As technology advances, organizations incorporate and integrate these techniques into their daily operations. However, cybercrime and malware increase as technology is adopted, with each strain becoming increasingly sophisticated. These cyberattacks can target computers, servers, networks, and systems to get vital information for the firm, obtain financial rewards, or just intimidate and impede the proper operation of businesses. This is why it is crucial for small businesses to employ safer, efficient, and effective IT infrastructure solutions to protect data.

Small businesses are enticing targets for cybercriminals because they typically lack the security measures implemented by larger organizations. Forty-three percent of all cyberattacks target small firms. The repercussions of these breaches, including missed productivity and damage to the company’s brand, may be exceedingly costly. Sixty percent of all small firms affected by a data breach close their doors permanently within six months of the incident.

Factors That Contribute to SMEs Vulnerability to Cyberattacks

Small firms typically do not take cybersecurity seriously. If an event does occur, many individuals do not comprehend the gravity of a security breach until it is too late. Numerous factors, including:

● They do not believe they will be affected by a data breach.

● Budgetary allocations for cybersecurity programs are limited.

● Systems are obsolete and without support.

● Specialized software required for obsolete hardware is no longer supported.

The most significant cause of data breaches in small organizations is human mistakes. Credential compromise is the most common initial attack vector used by cybercriminals against a company’s data. Due to the lack of cybersecurity training in small businesses, employees can be easily duped into falling for social engineering scams, online threats, or sharing logins, sensitive information, and other company and customer information. 

Also Read: Cyber threats Affecting Small and Medium-sized Businesses

What Types of Cyberattacks Are SMEs Prone to?

A cyberattack is a malicious attack on a computer system or network that utilizes malicious code to perform undesired modifications or steal information. Here we are excluding examples of the most prevalent cybercrimes:

Social Engineering Scams: 

This type of cybercrime deceives or manipulates an individual into exposing private or confidential information for fraudulent purposes. There are numerous forms of social engineering, including:

● Phishing\Spear Phishing

● Baiting

● Fake websites

● Caller ID Imitation

● Smishing


Malicious software is a cyberattack that installs malicious software on a user’s computer once they click on a malicious link or open an unfamiliar email attachment. Malware can shut down a computer, restrict access to files and other vital network components, and steal valuable data. 

Standard and highly disruptive software known as ransomware encrypts computer files until a ransom is paid in exchange for a key to decrypt the data. Additionally, there are Trojan horses and drive-by attacks.

SQL Injections and Other Attacks on Web Applications: 

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is a cyberattack in which a hacker “injects” malicious code into a service that utilizes SQL, compelling it to reveal information that it would not ordinarily disclose, such as client information, user lists, and other confidential company data.

Denial-of-Service (DoS): 

This attack happens when hackers overwhelm a system’s resources, rendering it inaccessible to authorized users and unresponsive to service requests.

A botnet can drive a cyberattack by utilizing bots to steal personal information, distribute spam, and transmit infections to a computer network.

How can SMEs protect themselves against Cybercrime through Cybersecurity Protection?

With cybercrime expanding and getting more sophisticated each year, it is more critical than ever for small businesses to comprehend how these types of assaults can affect their operations and to take the necessary precautions. Early discovery of a data breach is crucial for protecting a company’s reputation and preventing tens of thousands of dollars in losses.

Also Read: Security: How to protect your data from hackers

Best practices for small business cybersecurity include:

Employee training: 

Cybersecurity training for employees should not be a one-time event. All staff should be educated on potential security flaws, recognizing and avoiding frauds, setting secure passwords, and securing critical customer and company data.

Updated security software: 

Companies should implement firewalls, antivirus software, and anti-spyware programs to prevent hackers from readily gaining access to sensitive data. Check the websites of software suppliers for information on impending security patches and other upgrades, as these security systems require regular updates to be free of vulnerabilities.

Protecting data:

Companies might consider instituting record retention plans mandating the deletion or archiving of files. Data on all computers should be backed up routinely, and a recovery strategy should be in place in case the data must be retrieved due to a cyberattack. A network can also be segmented to prevent data exchange across the whole network. Thus, if a portion of the network is compromised, the segmentation prevents the entire network from being compromised.

Use of password protection apps:

Small businesses and their employees should have a password protection program for every website used regularly. Additionally, employees should never exchange passwords or write them down where others can see them.

Encryption of Data: 

All data transmitted via personal devices, computers, or servers should be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. When data is encrypted at rest, it cannot be read unless the user has the proper credentials and encryption key. This is essential for any HIPAA-governed data.

Multifactor Authentication: 

Multifactor authentication requires additional verification information, such as a security code delivered to your phone, in order to log in to networks, systems, and computers. It is essential to employ MFA wherever possible, and activating it for email, VPN access, the firewall, and software access makes the system more secure.

Cybersecurity Insurance: 

Cyber insurance can be of considerable assistance in safeguarding small businesses against the severe costs that may result from a variety of cyberattacks and the financial and reputational harm caused by data breaches. Cyber claims handlers are available to hold your hand throughout the stressful procedure and introduce you to vendors that have been carefully selected to provide the most effective assistance based on the event.

Atlas Systems offers small businesses the best IT infrastructure support. Put your organization in the right hands using the efficient protection services Atlas provides.


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