Understanding The Threat Landscape For Small Businesses
The current threat landscape for small businesses today is not that different from medium or large-sized ones. Small companies face cyber attacks and data breaches every day. They became more prone to cyber-attacks since they started to use cloud computing. The rise of remote work forced companies to adopt cloud environments, and they began to meet new threats. On the other hand, spyware, malware, and phishing attacks pose a significant risk for small businesses. Data breaches harm these businesses’ reputations and financials. Moreover, unauthorized access to the company’s resources causes the disclosure of confidential information, a disaster for the company.
Businesses that are small to large-sized are at risk of cyber attacks. Data resources, apps, corporate networks, and users can face threats anytime. As a small business owner or a manager, you should analyze your company and take the proper precautions.
Importance Of Threat Prevention For Small Businesses
All organizations want to secure their network from malicious code, malicious activity, and other advanced threats. Cyber threats target an organization’s valuable data, network traffic, and crucial information resources. Attacks pose a great risk to both the network and the company’s assets. Companies can not pursue their activities without a robust threat prevention plan. So, they should create a robust and reliable security posture to continue their operations.
Advanced threat prevention solutions can meet small businesses’ cybersecurity requirements. Although some solutions or tools can be costly for small-scale businesses, they can make a profit by preventing significant damage.
There is a correlation between the organization’s ability to fight against cyber threats and the protection technologies that the organization adopts. More than half of the companies report that cyber-attacks and data breaches negatively affect their businesses. (Check how cyber attacks affect companies in 2021) Threat prevention is a must for organizations as threat actors increase their severity and numbers.
Common Cybersecurity Threats Faced By Small Businesses
Small businesses face data breaches or leakages frequently. Data security is a vital part of network security. Companies can not provide total security without a data breach prevention solution. There are several ways for hackers to obtain company data illegally. Malware, phishing, spyware, and exploiting other network vulnerabilities are common types of data explosion. Data breaches are challenging for organizations for two reasons. First of all, small businesses can not run their daily operations if they lose all required data resources. Data has now become a capital for the companies. Companies incur financial loss since they lose their customer’s trust. On the other hand, data breaches can have legal consequences. There are several data protection regulations that companies are subject to. Negligence in threat detection and prevention causes administrative fines that can be much for a small-scale business.
Malware attacks are one of the prominent concerns for small businesses. Malware is malicious software developed for hacking networks, apps, and data resources. Spyware, malware, and ransomware are also types of malware and they damage small businesses. Cybercriminals developed different kinds of malware. Some malware aims to take control of the whole network management while others try to steal sensitive data.
Ransomware, a type of malware encrypts company files, networks, and data resources. Hackers use ransomware to encrypt company resources. Then, cybercriminals threaten organization owners to pay a ransom in exchange for returning their data. Ransomware can get on your employee’s devices via phishing e-mails. Phishing means that criminals create real-looking but fake links to trick people. These phishing links usually come in an e-mail form in businesses. When users click the phishing link, they download ransomware and infect multiple layers of the network.
Essential Threat Prevention Measures
Employee Training and Awareness
Users inside the company network can put the network on the line. Insider threat prevention is possible with employee training. Insiders must be aware of the common cyber threats and know how to avoid them. As an IT specialist or a company manager, you can create security teams in the company to teach users security and prevention methods. Thus, employees can protect company resources, and network layers, and prevent malware.
Unauthorized access to the company resources poses a great risk to the company’s security. Access control should be your priority to protect your network. Password security can be a good start toward authorized access control. Employees should create robust and undecipherable passwords. They should not share their passwords with their colleagues and third persons.
Securing Business Networks and Data
There are several ways for small organizations to secure business networks and data. Firewalls are reliable security solutions for network security. Firewall technology refers to the security system that monitor, control, and filter both incoming and outgoing data. Firewalls command and control traffic in networks and detect malicious behavior. Businesses can put a set of rules for firewall traffic control. So, firewalls control traffic according to these predetermined rules and detect malicious activities.
Next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a good solution for preventing threats to your business and traffic control. It protects your network in application layers and prevents threats. Next-generation firewalls can function in both software and hardware. Small businesses can leverage their security level via only next-generation firewalls because these firewalls contain different protection solutions and technologies.
Firewalls identify common threats and make an analysis. A small business can measure its threat vulnerability and find a solution to avoid these vulnerabilities.
Choosing The Right Threat Prevention Solution
Choosing a proper threat prevention solution requires network traffic analysis and vulnerability analysis. Companies should determine their weak points and budgets. They must consider their work models, and their industry too. Some security tools present advanced analysis such as firewalls. On the other hand, an inclusive security solution like Zero Trust security can protect small businesses against both current threats and future variants of these threats. Zero Trust technology offers a mindset for the companies. It recommends less trust and more authentication when it comes to access authorizations. Zero Trust decreases the privileges in networks and avoids data breaches. Moreover, it offers intrusion detection so small businesses can provide intrusion prevention via a Zero Trust security solution.
Companies that have remote employees must consider that fact when choosing a proper prevention solution. Remote work models require further threat detection and prevention methods. Remote access Virtual Private Network (VPN) has the ability to encrypt incoming and outgoing traffic. An organization can minimize data breach risk by adopting a VPN for its company. Virtual Private Networks create a virtual tunnel between the resource and the end-point. This tunnel encrypts sensitive and confidential data when it is traveling.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is another threat prevention solution for businesses. This tool aims to monitor, control, and audit user identities to be sure that only authorized people have access to sensitive resources. It avoids unwanted attacks and exploits.
Creating A Threat Prevention Strategy For Long-Term Success
Small businesses must create a threat prevention strategy for their future success. It is not possible for small businesses to survive without a successful threat prevention plan. Cyber threats have been evolving and they do not seem to go. Small businesses will be always faced with cyber threats and data breaches. They must consider network traffic analysis, corporate network vulnerabilities, common attack types, and other protection solutions to increase their threat prevention ability.