Many economies are dependant on the good performance of small businesses. When we think about major economies, large businesses normally come to mind. With that said, we should not underestimate the importance of small businesses, who also have their important role to play in the development of any economy. Considering their role, it is more important than ever that they take the necessary steps against cyber risks. This must be considered in the context that cybercrime attacks continue to increase, especially on small businesses due to their vulnerability.
Typical data which small businesses house and may be compromised include both organisational and consumer information. Breaches of data may severely impact businesses and their reputation, making them appear unreliable, hence losing customers.
It is important to mention that all businesses are at risk from cybercrime. The reason why small businesses are targeted a lot is because they do not take the necessary precautions because they believe that a cyber attack will never hit them.
In certain instances, businesses have fallen victim to cyber-attacks due to fraudulent wire transfers. This could be avoided with constant vigilance by monitoring payment transfers, reviewing the details carefully. These include payee details such as location and account information and making sure that they correspond with the supplier that needs to be paid.
Small businesses also need to understand the vulnerabilities of smart devices. Work phones and tablets are high-risk targets. This is more so the case if public WiFi is used for business-related purposes and financial transactions.
Ransomware attacks have also been on the rise in recent years. These often appear as emails or mobile notifications, which deny you access to your computer. Be careful of any emails from suspicious senders and strange links.
To combat these issues, small businesses need to invest in appropriate training and documented procedures to manage threats as they come in. Being proactive can also help prevent threats in the first place, avoiding a scenario where losses pertaining to income and consumer data are made.
When all is said and done, cybercrime attacks cannot be taken lightly. They can lead to severe damage, especially for small businesses who may not have the finances to invest in best in class security features.
Once an attack hits, business reputation suffers and customer trust is diminished. This illustrates the importance that businesses should constantly remain on the ball and invest continuously in their cyber safety.