Tech

6 Incredibly Common Digital Security Threats Business Owners Face

posted by Chris Valentine

Do you think that only large businesses are at risk of cybercrime? Think again.

According to reports, 43% of cyberattacks are now directed at small businesses. If you don’t take internet security seriously, you’re going to put your business at risk.

If you’ve never learned about digital security, you have a large amount of work ahead of you. Keep reading to learn six digital security threats that put your business at risk.

1. Phishing

Spam isn’t the only issue that comes with email. You also have hackers who send emails that look like they come from the companies you do business with.

A phishing email is one where an attacker tries to get sensitive account information from you. They fake their email address to make it appear real to create a reason for you to go to their website. The excuse can be anything from a security problem to a need to update information.

Once you click on a link in the email, you get redirected to the phishing website. Hackers will disguise the site to make it identical to the real one. Unfortunately, as soon as you enter your account information, your company will be compromised.

If you’re concerned about phishing email, instruct your employees not to click any links. Open up the web browser manually and go to websites that way.

2. Malware

You can’t just download any file on the internet and expect to stay safe. If you aren’t careful, you will accidentally download malware and infect your computer with harmful software. If you download malware to your PC and run it, you can expect to have your keystrokes logged, screenshots taken, and sensitive files compromised.

Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to protect yourself from malware attacks. All you need to do is subscribe to an anti-malware service and install it on all your company computers.

This software will scan all your file downloads for threats. If it finds a match to its threats database, the file will go to quarantine to wait for you to confirm its deletion.

Of course, not every piece of software is perfect. New threats are released all the time, and you might not get your malware database update in time. In these cases, regular malware scans will find the threats and remove any malicious software it finds.

3. External Devices

Living in a connected world means you need to make a few changes to how people connect to your company network. Most of your team will have their own devices with them at the office. The chances are that they want to connect to WiFi.

The problem is that you have zero control over what happens on devices that you don’t control. This leads to WiFi security threats that present themselves on external devices.

To solve this problem, create separate WiFi networks at the office. Ideally, you’ll need three different WiFi hotspots. You’ll have one for your employees, guests, and vital company devices.

Doing this insulates your vital equipment from compromises. The only impacted devices will be the ones on the problem WiFi networks.

4. Weak Passwords

One of the weakest links to your company security is your password. Unfortunately, not everybody takes them seriously.

If someone needs to remember a lot of passwords, it’s common for them to create ones that are easy to remember. While it might make things easier short-term, it also creates passwords that are easy to guess.

Any password your employees create should be complicated. You’ll need to create a password policy and require your employees to use it. If your employees have a hard time remembering their login credentials, set up a password manager, so they don’t need to remember.

If you want to go a step further, you can set up two-factor authentication. This authentication method adds a second step to passwords. Once you successfully enter your password, you’ll receive a secondary code on a device.

Your code can be received by email, text message, or an authentication application. Even if someone learns one of your passwords, they can’t use it without the second code.

5. Data Loss

Hacking isn’t the only security threat to businesses that use technology. If you use data to make crucial decisions, data loss is something that should always be on your mind.

You never know when your company will suffer from a hard drive failure, accidental file deletion, or natural disaster. If you don’t have a system in place to back up your critical data to an external location, you’re out of luck until you find a way to replace what you lost.

Luckily, it’s easy to safeguard your business from this threat. All it takes is signing up for a cloud backup solution.

Your cloud backup provider will provide you software to install on your company computers. Set up your backup schedule, and your critical files will automatically backup to the cloud. If you ever lose anything, it only takes a few clicks to recover your missing data.

6. Employee Mistakes

You can lock your company network down all you want. If you have an employee that doesn’t understand what they should and shouldn’t do on their computer and with sensitive computer information, all that work is for nothing.

Your employees are one of the biggest threats to the security of your business. One mistake is all it takes for your network to become compromised.

This threat doesn’t typically come from a cybercriminal’s technical skills. They do this by social engineering.

This process involves an attacker talking directly with someone and pretending to be someone they’re not. They can imitate another employee at the company or someone you do business with. Their goal is to get your employees to divulge information to them about your business.

The best way to solve this issue is with significant training. Create a program to educate your team and have every person go through the training.

Don’t Overlook Digital Security for Your Business

The last thing you want is to be caught off guard when a hacker attempts to break into your business. Use the digital security tips above to fortify your company network from attacks. Some preparation beforehand can save you from a costly and timely recovery in the future.

Do you want more tech tips that will help your business thrive? Read more in our tech section to learn what tools are the best for the job.

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