Over the past year we have become all too familiar with zoom calls and remote working. Overall, there are benefits to this new way of conducting business, like reducing cost and increasing productivity, but it also increases the security threats you and your business face online. According to the results of the CSO Pandemic Impact Survey IT leader respondents have seen a 26% increase in the volume, severity, and/or scope of cyber-attacks since March of last year. It is more important than ever to have a qualified IT professional watching your back. Below are some of the most prominent threats to your small business while working remote and conducting business online online.
- Phishing attacks – While your business is remote it is important to remind employees that when connected to the businesses network they must be cautious of all links opened. Threats can come from social media, text messages, and emails. Unfortunately, hackers have become more and more clever at enticing victims to open their fraudulent communications. Phishing accounts for 90% percent of all attacks on organizations and have increased by 65% over the past year. They account for $12 billion in business damages.
- Malware attacks – Malware attacks can come in a variety of forms including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and rogue software. Attacks like this can do a lot of damage on devices, be expensive to fix, and put your customers personal information at risk. Small business employees often use their own devices. As more people are working from home the amount of employees using personal devices will only grow. This puts businesses at a higher risk because personal devices are much more susceptible to these damaging downloads.
- Ransomware – Ransomware involves hackers infiltrating a network with a data-encrypting program. They will hold the data hostage until a sum of money is paid. Just this year the company, CD Projekt Red, creator of games like Cyberpunk 2077 and the Witcher, fell victim to a ransomware attack. After refusing to pay the ransom, source codes for some of their games were stolen and auctioned online. Even though the example was a larger company, 71% of ransomware victims in 2018 were small businesses and the average demand was around $116,000. Hackers are aware that many small businesses do not back up their data as often as the bigger organizations. This makes them easier targets who are more likely to pay the demands. This past year there has been a trend of hackers using COVID-19 related leers that have tricked even the seasoned employee.
Cyber threats come in many different forms and will attack a variety of different weaknesses. Some will succeed due to human error while others will because of weak cyber security. The best way to protect you and your business from this irrevocable damage is through education and by having an experienced IT professional, one that understands these threats and how to fight them. ENTFORCE has the experience of a trusted DOD security firm at a cost that is more cost effective than the other guys. We believe if it works for the government, it should be the perfect security solution for your small business.