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Small businesses remain a big target for cybercriminals

Despite advances in cybersecurity, SMBs remain attacker’s priority

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The discussion surrounding cybercrime has evolved in the past several years, where mainstream attention puts the spotlight on the different victims of cyberattacks. It’s been erroneously believed only data-heavy targets were worthy of coordinated attacks, like government agencies or large-scale enterprises. However, such a myth is readily dismissed, as cybercriminals will attack any target deemed profitable.

More than ever, in fact, SMBs have seen a harsh spike in malicious activity directed at their networks and digital resources. In general, too, the FBI observed a steady climb in cybersecurity complaints and financial damage as a result of malicious activity. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2021 received 847,376 reports related to cyberattacks, with total financial damages reaching $6.9 billion from the reported threats alone.

The increased targeting of SMBs arrives from several factors, though the primary reason is simply smaller organizations are easier to breach. There is a growing emphasis on cybersecurity for infrastructure and major businesses, especially those that can afford to hire expert staff and facilitate resilient cybersecurity. Thus, attackers are dissuaded from trying to navigate complex roadblocks when smaller organizations are easier to take advantage of.

Small-to-medium-sized organizations do not have the same cybersecurity resources or expertise at their disposal.

Attacks are on the rise, but business owners shrug at the danger

At Bytagig we consistently emphasize a robust cybersecurity posture, one that remains aware of contemporary threats and invests in meaningful solutions in case of attack. However, even highlighting the expanding nature of cybercrime and its increasing desire to strike SMBs, owners of said smaller businesses show less concern.

A survey conducted demonstrated that, when targeted by a cyberattack, 64 percent of respondents stated they were not worried or could swiftly resolve a breach event“-a majority of small business owners (64%) are confident in their ability to quickly resolve a cyberattack on their business, on par with last quarter (65%),” the survey reports.

Whether this confidence is justified remains another story, but if previous trends show an escalation in both attacks and financial loss, SMB owners should remain vigilant and take a stronger stance toward their cybersecurity strategy.

More so, it is especially concerning as breach events are easily avoidable with common sense strategies, something not all business owners take advantage of. Some of them rely on identifying phishing emails, SMS texts, and voice scams, other key points relate to enabling multi-factor authentication across all relevant devices.

Common sense cyber hygiene 

There’s no shortage of threats or attacks, and malicious actors aren’t going anywhere. Therefore, SMB owners need to take a serious look at their internal response, review strategies, and test resources to understand where they are.

For instance, management that’s confident in their cybersecurity response should conduct thorough penetration tests to examine the resiliency of their resources. It’s one thing to readily believe you can thwart cybercriminals with ease – it’s another to do it. Keep in mind, critical infrastructure networks and massive enterprises with global customers have been victimized by cyberattacks. If they can suffer a breach with stronger infrastructure, so can you.

The good news, however, is that investing heavy capital in cybersecurity isn’t immediately necessary to create a competent network. Rather, it’s identifying common tactics threat actors exploit to breach networks and creating a strategy, along with following strong cybersecurity policies.

Know what to do

Assuming you’ll avoid a breach event or can readily dismiss one is a fault line that will erode good sense strategies. There is no single technology, software, or solution that stops all cyberattacks. Cyberattacks are often a result of human error too, something that can’t be avoided, even in the best setups.

Given the notable and continued increase of attacks towards SMBs, it’s time to renew how you manage cybersecurity responses. If you haven’t taken basic precautions against threat actors, now is the time to do it. While every organization is unique in its needs and capital, plenty of foundational strategies can be adopted for improved cybersecurity.

Integrate Zero-Trust

Zero-trust policies are standard practice for competent cybersecurity strategies, relying on a “trust until verified” philosophy. It comes at no cost and only requires introducing safe skepticism in the regular workflows.

MFA 

Multi-factor authentication is normalizing among platforms, websites, and mobile devices. While 2FA (two-factor authentication) was satisfactory for a short period, MFA – authentication via multiple devices – has proven more resilient.

BDR Plans and Cloud Services

Cloud resiliency combined with backup-disaster recovery is a default option for many businesses, especially smaller ones. Cloud and virtualized infrastructure are more resilient than traditional options and having a BDR are imperative in case of a breach event.

Preparing for trends

Clear is the danger posed to SMBs, so preparing for the surge of cyberattacks is a no-brainer. Management should take a close look at current policies and decide whether it’s adequate in the face of evolving dangers.

Reaching out to third-party resources is also an ideal solution. For more information, you can reach out to Bytagig today.

About Bytagig

Bytagig is dedicated to providing reliable, full-scale cyber security and IT support for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups in a variety of industries. Bytagig works both remotely with on-site support in Portland, San Diego, and Boston. Acting as internal IT staff, Bytagig handles employee desktop setup and support, comprehensive IT systems analysis, IT project management, website design, and more. Bytagig is setting the standard for MSPs by being placed on the Channel Future’s NexGen 101 list.

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