How safe is your business? Many small-business owners feel confident in the security of their IT systems. Whether your business works with personal information, accepts credit card sales or simply uses email to communicate, there is a tremendous amount of company value tied in your online interactions. While you may feel safe as a small business, being a relatively smaller target than a large corporation, you may be surprised to discover that many cyberattacks and malware specifically target small businesses. Learn how to stay safe today.
Dangers of Malware for a Small Business
Small and mid-sized businesses lost an average of $2,235,000 due to cyberattacks in 2017. Roughly half of the average cost came from direct IT theft of assets, while the other half was calculated based on loss of normal business operational hours and productivity.
There are a wide number of ways that your company can be targeted:
- Computer viruses
- Mobile-device malware
- Malware-infected emails
- Trojan horses
Some attacks are simply designed to disrupt your normal workday and cause your small business to lose valuable time and energy. Others are more malicious and steal valuable personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account information or trade secrets.
Securing Your Small Business
It’s time to protect your small business. Don’t let cyberattacks cripple your business and cause irreparable damage in lost assets. There are a few ways you can help prevent an attack from happening. Unfortunately, it takes approximately 191 days to discover a data breach. This means that your business will probably not be able to respond quickly to an attack in the form of damage control. Instead, the best chance you have of minimizing the devastating effects of malware is through improved security and risk-avoidance tactics.
Get Your Employees on Board
In the age of companies allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, it can be difficult to see the full scope of your IT security. There are many reasons to be cautious of allowing employees to have access to confidential data from their personal computers and smartphones:
- Increased risk of stolen devices
- Uneven antivirus protection
- Wide range of access granted to devices
Of course, there are many benefits to this model as well, such as allowing employees to use the devices they are most comfortable with and saving your small business the upfront cost of new computers and smartphones for every employee. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, and if you allow access to company information from personal computers, consider other ways you can protect your small business.
With emails constantly being sent and received all across your company, it’s easy to lose track of the sheer amount of information that is passed back and forth. In the midst of this flurry of information, malware could be spreading in your company. Ninety-two percent of all malware is sent via email, and your employees, on average, receive up to nine malicious emails or attachments each month.
Most employees understand phishing scams and questionable emails. However, malware is becoming more intelligent and difficult to detect. About 77 percent of all attacks were completely fileless in 2017. Your employees no longer need to download an unsafe file, but merely opening an infected email could compromise their computer and, in turn, your entire small business.
Educate your employees on safe email use and consider using the latest email filters to prevent your employees from being exposed to risky messages. Phishing attacks were the biggest threat facing businesses, reported 56 percent of decision makers for IT security in their companies.
Keep Up With the Latest Cyberattacks
Do you know the difference between adware and phishing? With the exponential increase in number of cyberattacks and forms of malware, it can be difficult to distinguish one common strategy from another.
Keep your business up-to-date with the latest information and signs of potential IT threats. From disruptive adware to dangerous ransomware, encourage your employees to understand the warning signs and report any suspicious activity in order to protect your company assets.
Now that 48 percent of cyberattacks are specifically targeting small businesses, you need to know the signs to look for in the most common attacks:
- Online banking malware: Some malware poses as an online banking platform or app. After you attempt to log in using your username, password or bank information, the software sends your information to a hacker who will use your data for fraudulent purchases. Always double-check you are using an official, secured banking website.
- Macro malware: Classic malware infections arrive via email attachments. Once opened, macro malware can infect your computer with adware, ransomware or any other virus.
- Ransomware: As the name implies, this virus will demand payment before restoring access to your files or entire computer. It’s a lose-lose situation, since the loss of productivity while dealing with the ransomware is often costlier than the ransom itself.
Use the Best Antivirus Software
While there are many safeguards you can take to ensure your small business stays safe, the best form of prevention is the latest antivirus software. If you’re ready to secure your business’s IT assets and prevent any vicious attack, contact us at Super Source GmbH today. We can help you find the highest-rated antivirus protection and ensure you download the correct file. Don’t be deceived by malware that poses as antivirus software. Find the right software to help your small business thrive in your industry.