In 2019 cyber security for small businesses is a growing concern. Cyber security crime has been only been getting more and more sophisticated each year. The protection of customer information has become a problem for even large companies and their clients are the ones who pay the price.
Here are some examples of companies which fell prey to cyber security threats:
In 2013, 3 billion user accounts exploited during the Yahoo attack. This included customer names, dates of birth, email address, and passwords. This was the largest single attack in history. This was done by falsely manufacturing web cookies which tricked the site and falsified login credentials.
In 2018 it was announced that for a period of 4 years hackers were able to get the information of 500 million customers. This included contact information, passport numbers, and other personal information. This was done by hackers exploiting the company’s Starwood reservation system.
This hack leads to 145 million of its users being compromised. These hackers were able to obtain credit cards and personal financial information which is worth millions. This hack occurred by targeting just 3 specific employees who had access to enough of the systems to cause an issue.
What hope is there for a small business of if these large companies can’t protect themselves? Keep in mind their size does make them a more valuable target than a small business.
Here are some predictions concerning cyber security for small businesses and some tips to protect yourself in the future:
Prediction 1: 5G Networks Will Make it Easier
5G smartphones will become more and more common. Eventually, 5G will be the accepted norm. With an increase of bandwidth means that mobile, coordinated attacks can be done on the move. Also with this new 5G infrastructure comes with new possible exploits. No technology starts off foolproof and given enough time hackers will attempt to find exploits before patches can be made.
Prediction 2: More Artificial Intelligence Attacks (AI)
One hacker behind a keyboard can only do so much. Currently, mass coordinated hacks done by groups is what yields the greatest effect. However, with the assistance of AI multiple targets can be assessed to see which network can be easily exploited. This could possibly be done on a huge scale in the future and report back to a hacker group what is worth their time. The AI could even be set to the task itself, left to it’s own devices and stopping only when the desired outcome is reached.
Prediction 3: More Data in Transit Attacks
If malware is installed on the router you’re connected to, your information is vulnerable. While the router acts at the middle man between you and the internet all web activity can be passed on to the individual that installed the malware. This would include passwords, browsing history, account information, or more. This type of attack is likely to become more common in the future on public wifi and 5G hubs.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself in the future:
Tip 1: Train Your Staff
Phishing attacks are here to stay. Phishing attacks are the timeless tactic of sending out a fraudulent email, in hopes of gaining private information, under false pretenses. It continues to work every day even as most become more savvy. Until it stops working, scammers will keep sending them. Make sure your employees aren’t opening any questionable emails during company time and show them what common phishing emails might look like.
Phishers will often use heartbreaking pleas for help or sensationalized news in hopes you follow the link listed in the email. After you follow that link they may request you log in to a fake user portal, ask for your social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other private information. Make sure train your employees not to provide any information unless it’s over a verified and secure website. Never transmit sensitive company information over a public WiFi hotspot.
Tip 2: Use Multi-Factor Authentication When Possible
Multi-Factor authentication can be viewed as an unnecessary pain to those on the ground level. You may even get push back when trying to implement it as being unnecessary. However, multi-factor authentication is one of the best ways of securing your system. Keep in mind it is possible for even the most secure passwords to be leaked but it’s unlikely for an employee’s password AND their cellphone to be stolen at the same time. Both are required in order to log into a system when using 2-Step verification. 2-Step verification is offered by many companies tradtionally requires both the password and a registered device to confirm it’s a lawful entry.
Tip 3: Keep Your Leaders Informed
It’s 2019 and you need to act accordingly. Any old or outdated security systems are just asking for trouble. Your staff and specifically your leaders need to be aware of the importance of cyber security for small businesses. This will means proper planning of procedures and how additional costs need to be factored into the budget. In the long run, skimping on protection very well could lead to your customer information being exploited. Once your reputation is destroyed and you’re known for being untrustworthy of doing business with, the cost comparatively seems minor. Proper leadership means having the foresight to handle possible issues before they become actual problems. Making sure you have proper cyber security for your small business is one way you can do that.
The landscape of cyber security for small businesses is an ever-changing one. Constantly evolving and shifting as new methods are devised by hackers to turn a profit. If you don’t feel up to the task of reeducating yourself in an entirely new field it might be best just to hire professionals in this line of work. Rush Tech Support would be happy to provide a free security consultation to evaluate what part of your business is most vulnerable and how to protect it. Give us a call at 844-880-7874 so we can assist you further.