Four cyber security threats small businesses need to be aware of

Last year, 60 per cent of small businesses experienced a security breach, according to data revealed in the 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey. One of the things that makes cyber security so difficult for organisations is the fact that threats come from all angles. There are so many different threats you need to be aware of, and in this post we will explore some of the most common in further detail.

Mobile Malware – Nowadays, hackers are targeting mobile devices, and this is largely because of the rise of BYOD, which is Bring Your Own Device. More and more employees are bringing their own smartphones and tablets to work and using them for both personal and professional use. While this is efficient and cost effective, it makes it very difficult for organisations to achieve optimum levels of security, as there are hundreds of different devices to manage. This is why cyber criminals are targeting mobile devices. The best way to combat this is through education; you need to ensure that all of your employees know how to use their devices securely to minimise the threat.

Network Vulnerabilities – Almost half of small businesses in the UK have suffered as the result of malware and viruses, which is typically as the result of a vulnerability in the system. Hackers spot weaknesses in company’s security infrastructure and they exploit them. This is something we can assist with, by ensuring your sensitive cardholder data is separate from the rest of your network, so that access is limited and cyber criminals cannot find a way in.

Insecure Passwords – The importance of developing strong and secure passwords cannot be ignored. However, unfortunately, a lot of businesses are experiencing cyber security breaches because employees are using passwords or passing around this information freely. Almost six in ten employees reuse their passwords for corporate and personal use, according to the Market Pulse Survey conducted by SailPoint. If that wasn’t bad enough, 20 per cent share their passwords with other employees.

Phishing – This is a tactic that is used by a large number of cyber criminals. It involves tricking people into revealing sensitive information, such as their passwords. They may, for instance, divert you to a website, which seems authentic, and thus tempt you to input your details. However, the site is not genuine at all, and instead there is a cyber criminal ready and waiting to take your sensitive data.

These four approaches used by cyber criminals merely scratch the surface of the different things you need to be aware of. From scams and Denial-of-Service attacks, to skimmers and website vulnerabilities, there are various ways for hackers to exploit a security system. This is why you need to make a large effort to ensure that your systems are secure and that you are doing all you can to protect your company and customer data. Otherwise, not only will you suffer fraud losses and damage to your reputation, but you can expect non-compliance fines too.