The biggest cybersecurity threats of 2018 (and how to stop them)

Cyberattacks aren’t just a problem for large corporations. According to UPS Capital, 60 percent of small businesses will go out of business less than 6 months after receiving an attack.

There are several ways cyberattacks can threaten your small business and several steps you can take to stop them.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware can be harder on small businesses than large companies.

CNN Tech reports that coming up with the money to pay the ransomware is only part of the problem. The amount of time it can take to get your systems back online and the revenue that may be lost can be overwhelming for your small business to absorb.

There are several ways you can stop ransomware from devastating your business. Because a lot of ransomware comes through your email, it’s crucial to have a security strategy that will effectively stop this cybersecurity threat before it cripples your business. And since even the best systems aren’t totally fail-proof, it’s also essential to securely back up all data.

2. Vulnerable smartphones

Smartphones are basically mini-computers—with banking services, email and a variety of apps that can be accessed over the phone. This makes every phone you and your employees use just as vulnerable to cybersecurity threats as your laptops.

You’ll need to make sure any protection you’ve provided for your computers is also added to your smartphones. Your phones should also have auto locking devices in case they’re stolen or lost as well as the capability for remote data-wiping.

3. Bring your own device (BYOD)

The majority of all businesses, small and large, now allow employees to use personal devices for work. This is both good and bad. It saves you a lot of money while boosting employee productivity.

However, all those personal devices also increase cybersecurity threats for small businesses.

There are several BYOD policies your business should implement to keep personal devices as safe as possible. If personal devices can’t be protected in the same way as your business devices, it may be necessary to give each employee a company device that has encryption and other high-level security safeguards.

4. Weak Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi, especially if you’re allowing it to be accessed by the general public, can put you at greater risk of being hacked. Your Wi-Fi may also be vulnerable to a variety of viruses.

The first step to securing your Wi-Fi includes investing in a commercial router that is made especially for a small business. You may need to change the default password to one that’s more secure. You’ll also want to disable remote login.

5. Human error

Whether deliberate or unintentional, human error is still one of the biggest cybersecurity threats small and medium-sized businesses face. Falling for phishing attacks is a prime example. Those devious little emails can open you up to all kinds of security issues. Managing your own web hosting is another example of something that can put your company at risk.

Everyone doesn’t have the same level of understanding of cybersecurity threats. So education and training are crucial when attempting to eliminate potential risk.

It’s important that your employees receive daily support and ongoing training that keeps them technically savvy—and it doesn’t hurt if it also provides social interaction and a bit of fun.

While creating company policies and plans to remain safe from cybersecurity threats is crucial, it’s also important to create a disaster recovery plan should your data be lost or compromised.

Stopping cybersecurity threats

If you find all of this a little overwhelming, that’s okay. You may want to bring an experienced security partner to help protect your data. If you are feeling out of your depth, we encourage you to contact your IT support provider for a deeper dive into making sure your company is safe from cybersecurity threats.