Cybersecurity Trends in 2018 – Top 5 Threats Small Business Owners Should Be Monitoring
If you thought cybersecurity risks were limited to more prominent businesses and large-scale enterprises, you couldn’t be more wrong. Thanks to advancements in technology and the array of options available to cyber-criminals, today’s small business owners face just as many risks as large corporations. With the increasing usage of things like crypto-jacking and sophisticated phishing schemes, today’s small business owners need to be super vigilant when it comes to the safety of their business’ data. If you’re a small business owner who wants to know what cybersecurity trends to watch out for in 2018, following are the top threats you should be paying attention to.
- One of the top cybersecurity threats small business owners face in 2018 is their own staff members. Lack of employee training and failure to follow crucial security procedures opens up small businesses to a myriad of potentially disastrous cybersecurity threats. If you do only one thing to reduce your company’s risk exposure this year, develop a detailed cybersecurity strategy for your employees to follow. This includes everything from developing a BYOD (bring your own device) policy to a detailed plan-of-action to avoid email phishing scams.
- Ransomware is another security threat small business owners need to be aware of and guard against. Cyber-thieves no longer target large corporations with their ransomware demands. A small business is as likely to have their data held hostage by cryptocurrency-demanding cyber-criminals as a large business with big bank accounts. With the increasing usage of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for ransomware demands, small business owners must do everything in their power to avoid falling victim. Work with a cybersecurity specialist to reduce your company’s risk.
- Website hacking/defacing is another top cybersecurity threat for small business owners. While a ransomware attack can hold your data hostage, website defacing can leave your small business’ website unusable, or worse yet, advertising propaganda/negative messages. Make sure your company’s anti-virus/malware software is up-to-date to ensure your website is less likely to be targeted by cyber-thugs.
- Look no further than the Equifax data breach for an example of how disastrous it can be to have your company’s customer data records hacked. Small businesses can have their customers’ data stolen as quickly as larger companies. Failure to adequately protect and store customer data can lead to bankruptcy for your business, and even legal ramifications should customers decide to sue. Working with a cybersecurity specialist will help you be sure your data is encrypted, and all customer information is virtually impenetrable.
- With a growing number of small businesses using digital assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa, the need for IoT (internet of things) security has never been higher. If your small business is using any internet-connected devices, you absolutely must have an IoT security plan in place. Anything from a microwave oven to an office printer can have IoT capabilities. Without a thorough IoT security strategy in place, you just might be leaving an open virtual door for cyber-criminals to target your small business through your IoT devices.
These are by no means the only cyber-threats you should be aware of in 2018, but these five top security risks are ones many solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to address adequately. When you make an effort to ensure your company is safe from cyber-attacks, you go a long way towards improving your business’ odds of long-term survival. Will you be meeting with your trusted cybersecurity expert to address these top five security risks this year?