Most consumers of the news – be that traditional news sources like television and radio, social media, or dedicated news websites – have heard about major cyber attacks involving large corporations. Examples of these large-scale cyber attacks include a recent 2022 data hack at Twitter impacting 5.5 million of the social media app’s users. Cyber attacks aren’t reserved for just large corporations, and many scammers actually prefer to target small to medium businesses as they often leave themselves more vulnerable to attacks. But, what exactly makes a business an easy target for cyber scam artists? There are actually a few common weaknesses many businesses have that make them a likely target.
Outdated or Unprotected Networks/Systems
Technology is ever-evolving and even the most sophisticated systems and networks don’t continue protecting a company and its information if not regularly maintained and updated. Often, software security updates occur because of an identified flaw or vulnerability in the previous version of the software. Neglecting to update when new versions or updates become available essentially means leaving a door that cyber scammers have already found wide open for a potential attack.
Security software isn’t the only IT component requiring regular updates. All systems, hardware, and software used within a business should be diligently maintained and updated. Operating systems regularly need updates or patches, as do firewalls. When these barriers protecting a network aren’t configured or secured properly, they leave all information stored within that network with the potential to be compromised in an attack.
Lack of Cybersecurity Training for Employees
All of the security software can’t protect a business when employees are not properly trained on the types of cybersecurity threats that exist currently and ways in which to avoid them opening the door for hackers. Many cyber-attacks happen through the use of email, be that transferring malware via attachments or the use of phishing to lure someone into disclosing personal or confidential business information.
Responsible business owners invest in cybersecurity and email security training for all employees accessing the company’s network or data. Cyber attackers have gotten quite sophisticated over the years, and many scam attempts are hard to identify until it’s too late. Employees made aware of the potential for attacks that exist are more equipped to avoid those during their employment with the company. Training should also entail the basics of password management and security measures for mobile devices (if used). A comprehensive security awareness course for all new employees and ongoing security training pays off big when it comes to avoiding the cost of potential attacks.
Ensuring computers, laptops, or mobile devices like smartphones don’t provide hackers an easy way to target your business goes beyond employee training. Nearly all businesses utilize at least some of these devices, and many allow or require employees to travel to and work with those devices in hand.
Every device containing company, employee, or customer information must be password protected, even if it never leaves the physical premises. Not only that, passwords need to be strong enough to defend against scam artists and ideally the decryption software many of them use.
Along with strong passwords, many responsible companies also limit access to the organization’s internal network, databases, and software programs. They provide employees access to a company VPN through which they must log in to gain access, rather than making all of this available to staff by simply connecting the device to any internet source.
Lastly when it comes to protecting devices, implementing a plan or course of action in case of loss or theft of these devices is smart. This means known processes regarding who to notify and how. There are steps an IT department can take to deactivate lost or stolen devices, and doing so after such occurrence is time sensitive to best prevent information loss.
Failing to Consult the Experts when Expertise isn’t Available In-House
Many small and mid-sized businesses simply don’t have the resources or expertise in-house to fully protect the organization and its stakeholders from all cyber threats. It’s not enough to install a firewall and implement tools like email encryption. A strong defense against cyber attacks is proactiveness. For those without an experienced, dedicated IT team, consulting with (and ideally, partnering with) a local cybersecurity team helps bring in the expertise needed to implement all applicable proactive measures to protect the business and its data.
Within organizations, critical and sensitive business information is accessed and shared daily via a number of digital channels. At Kustura Technologies, we understand that keeping information and data security is a top priority. Our team of IT and cybersecurity professionals brings decades of experience helping to protect Florida businesses from all levels of cybersecurity threats. We’re committed to providing a comprehensive suite of advanced email and cybersecurity services, including:
- Private and secure cloud-based emails (with encrypted email backups)
- Anti-phishing security awareness/training courses
- Strong anti-spam & malware prevention programs and filters
- HIPAA-compliant email protocols
We offer business-level cyber IT security systems and plans that will protect your company’s confidential data. Our team of experts also monitors our clients’ cybersecurity 24/7 to ensure protection against cyber attacks does end with the work day. For those looking to become less vulnerable to a cyber attack in 2023, the team at Kustura can help create and implement a protection plan to get you there. Contact us today and protect your business!