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Faced with the growing ingenuity deployed by cybercriminals and a severe lack of knowledge on how to counter these malicious actors, SMBs are particularly vulnerable to security threats!
Here's a handy rundown of 7 security threats to watch out for, and steps you can take to ensure your protection.
Awareness: your employees, your first challenge
Insider threats (whether intentional or unintentional) are emerging as the number one risk to your business. Last year in the U.S. alone, these threats accounted for 80% of corporate cybersecurity incidents.
Why? Unfortunately, in the digital age, your employees are your weakest link. Despite all the common sense in the world, we can't help but click on attachments sent by users we don't know, visit sites that offer us offers that are too good to be true, and consistently choose passwords that are too easy to guess... after all, who wants to mess around with dozens of different passwords for their accounts?
And it is precisely this inherent weakness of human nature that cybercriminals exploit: in this context, if your employees have not been sufficiently sensitized to IT security issues, you are an easy prey for malicious actors.
The solution: train your teams
All you have to do is take the time to explain the security risks to your employees: for example, teach them how to recognize phishing emails or suspicious websites.
Phishing: the most common attack vector
In phishing attacks, cybercriminals pose as brands, banks, retailers or even employees of your company to steal confidential information such as usernames, passwords and banking details, or to trick you into downloading malware or ransomware.
And with 135 million phishing attacks occurring every day, it's unrealistic to think your business will be spared. But how do you protect yourself against these sophisticated attacks?
The solution: take a look at your fingerprint
Cybercriminals often rely on several online resources to build a profile of their target. Take stock of the information available online about your company, try to minimize it where possible, and always be wary of unsolicited requests. You can always ask for confirmation before agreeing to share your data: before replying to the e-mail or calling back the number of your contact, remember to check your information internally first.
Ransomware: the enfant terrible of phishing
We've just talked about the dangers of phishing, but what happens if you click on a link or download an attachment linked to a suspicious email? Chances are, your computer is infected with ransomware, a malicious program that can spread through your computer environment, blocking access and holding your data hostage: the hacker then demands a ransom from you, promising that you will get your systems and data back once the payment is collected, while threatening to delete your information or make it public if you refuse to comply.
The solution: Back up your data or pay the ransom
With a full backup of your system stored offline, in a location independent of your network, you keep a copy of your data in case of an attack. If your system is infected, you can do a safe mode reboot, use anti-malware software to remove the malicious element, and then restore your system to a previous date.
Note: annual backups are not enough. Schedule regular backups, and don't forget to check that they are functional. If not, you'll just have to pay the ransom.
Understaffed, overworked: your small team can't do everything
A SANS Institute survey found that 55% of companies surveyed employ only one dedicated IT staff member, and only one cybersecurity specialist. Of these SMBs, 40 percent simply report security incidents verbally, 30 percent schedule regular formal meetings, and nearly 30 percent don't report these events at all. On the human resources side, they employ half as many people as the ideal number. But as we all know, you have to make do with what you have.
The solution: lighten the load with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It can be difficult to stay on top of the latest threats without a dedicated and well-stocked team. But at a time when cybersecurity risks show no signs of abating, AI can help SMBs catch up. By investing in tools that can automatically detect and address secondary threats, you allow your teams to focus on the most important risks.
Covert attacks: how do you detect them before they happen?
In the SANS Institute survey, nearly 64% of respondents admit that they are unable to know if they have been attacked. For SMBs, the main challenge is to be able to detect and anticipate incidents on their network.
Indeed, the most effective cybersecurity strategies are those that block threats before they infect your environment.
The solution: Uncover your security blind spots
Opt for security tools that can identify suspicious events: when it comes to security, the best philosophy is "better safe than sorry." This approach not only allows you to minimize risk, but also to identify the points of origin of attacks to help you deploy effective measures to counter future attempts.
Detection time: the unknown is your enemy
You haven't deployed a proactive identification system yet, but since you obviously haven't been attacked, there's no need to worry, right? Think again: on average, it takes organizations at least 13 hours to detect serious threats targeting their IT environment. And during this time, cybercriminals have plenty of time to cause serious problems for your organization, by stealing sensitive data, collecting your credentials, installing money-stealing Trojans or ransomware, etc.
The solution: include security in your regular maintenance activities
We recommend deploying proactive tools, educating your employees and backing up your systems. But all these measures will do you no good if you continue to take cybersecurity lightly.
You need to make it part of your IT processes by performing regular scans and updates. If you're thinking about adopting new solutions, consider assessing the potential risks your new vendor or system could generate.
Cost reduction: protection has a price
Most security solutions are too expensive to purchase and maintain, and very often not really suitable for the SMB organization. However, successful attacks can have a much higher cost, when you consider the disruptions, financial losses, legal repercussions and reputational issues they create.
The solution: find a vendor that listens to your needs
Choose solutions developed specifically for SMBs. Your goal is simple: to make your IT an asset rather than a burden, by streamlining management and providing you with only the tools you need and the ease of use you want.
Has this article given you a clearer picture of your SMB's cybersecurity issues?
Now you are aware of the importance of security, but you don't know where to start?
While there are thousands of powerful individual solutions, we recommend that SMBs who want to simplify their IT management and protect their data adopt all-in-one infrastructure solutions. That's why CK supports you in developing your IT infrastructure and data protection.
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