With the rapidly growing IT industry, the risks of cyberattacks and incidents of data and security breaches have also increased at an alarming rate. Therefore, data security is an essential thing or pre-requisite requirement before running any business, regardless of its size.
Although large and medium-size businesses are occasionally attacked for ransomware but small sized businesses are also at a greater risk of cyberattacks due to their compromised security measures. A research carried out by Verizon indicated that most of the SMBs aren't even aware of the fact that they have been hacked and around 65% of the small businesses believe that their data is already secure and don't need multiple protections. However, the reality is those small businesses are an easy target for hackers and they do not usually end up in headlines as the large or massive organizations. In addition, there are several myths about the data security in small organizations, which make them more vulnerable and ideal for breaches. Several misconceptions about these small businesses are discussed below:
1. Why would someone attack my business, it's too small and won't appeal to hackers?
According to research, around 43% of cyberattacks are reported on organizations that have less than 100 employees. Many small business owners believe that their brand is not that large, and they do not have any valuable or sensitive data that would be of any interest to the cybercriminals. The reality is that majority of the hackers start their journey with small businesses as SMBs do not have any in-house cybersecurity expert or they cannot readily start the recovery procedures after any attack.
If the customer data is not valuable to the hackers in small organizations, they end up encrypting the whole system and demand ransom money in return of the encryption keys. So securing small-sized business is essential as any minor attack can cost too much and even lead to bankruptcy.
2. A firewall alone can secure my business:
Although a firewall is very beneficial in protecting businesses from external attacks but a single layer of security is not sufficient at all. As small-sized business are an easy target therefore, there must be multiple security layers including anti-virus software, various authentications, individual application and database firewalls and intrusion detection mechanism to protect any internal attacks from employee's account or any vendor's malicious attempts.
3. Cloud Infrastructure is more vulnerable to thefts:
Another myth that most of the SMBs believe that having their own physical infrastructure and hardware is more secure than utilizing cloud-based services. Moreover, there is also a misconception that cloud-based services will cost much higher. In reality, cloud-based infrastructures have dedicated IT security experts; they employ perimeter and individual firewall and offer many other security related services on their platform. In addition, all these protective measures can come at a lower cost as compared to in-house security measures and infrastructure.
4. My business do not collect customer's payment details, so it won't be worth hacking for cybercriminals:
Even if your small business do not collect credit card details and other customer's bank account information, it is of high interest to the criminals. An attacker can have PII (personal identifiable information), names, email addresses and password from your business, which can be very valuable in order to access other accounts. Moreover, hackers can utilize this personal information to threat users, leak their private information online or sell it on malicious websites including dark web.
5. There is risk for external attacks only:
Although external attacks are the more popular ones, but the reason behind 75% of the attacks is the internal player from the organization. Even if the organization is small, any employee visiting any malicious website, clicking on spam emails, or his own compromised or weak passwords can lead to thefts and data breaches. Therefore, small business need to educate and train their employees to avoid being the reason for data breaches.
Luckily, you can scan your vulnerabilities for free using S4E:Equality which is a free vulnerability assessment tools repository and you can know your security vulnerabilities before hackers do! You can even automate the vulnerability scanning process using S4E:Shelter. Or, you can take a further step and ask for a penetration testing performed on your business' asset by cybersecurity experts. Learn more about penetration testing here.