Is your business a low hanging fruit for hackers?

Tech Blog
August 24, 2021
Banana is a low hanging fruit

Hackers have a new favourite target - SMB’s. The reason is simple: SMB’s are low hanging fruit for cybercriminals.

Unfortunately, small business owners often lack protection and cyber security awareness, which means their company resources are easy to access.

Hackers don't discriminate when it comes to whom they target. They are simply looking for a success to fuel their next payday. So if you think your businesses would not be appealing for an attack - think again!

This article will discuss how hackers might find ways to breach your security and steal from your company. And why you need to gain control of the cybersecurity essentials of your business!

Most importantly, we will show you the way so you know what you can do to stop them!

Why cybersecurity matters for SMB’s

It is not possible to eliminate the threat, but an SMB's cybersecurity management strategy can undoubtedly take steps to prevent them from being an easy target for hackers.

In any business, the responsibility for cybersecurity lies with the whole team, whether they are browsing the web online or installing tools related to their role. Everyone has a part to play. A company's cybersecurity approach should be a constant process that is modified as new threats emerge.

Trying to wade through the confusing world of IT Security when you have a business to run can easily be overwhelming. So it's completely understandable that many SMB's have yet to protect their resources fully.

What can be incredibly useful in a situation like this is a framework. A no-nonsense guide that a business can depend on that takes business owners through everything they need to understand. One step at a time.

Cybercrime is becoming an increasingly expensive problem, some eye opening stats show the issue is widespread:

  • Up to 88% of UK companies have suffered cyber attacks in the last 12 months, according to reports by Carbon Black.
  • According to Hiscox, a UK company is hacked every 19 seconds. In the UK alone, 4,500 of 5.7 million SMBs are breached every day from 65,000 attempts resulting in an estimate of 1.6 million breaches per year. Cisco estimates 53% of SMBs suffered a security breach globally in 2018.
  • Thirty-seven per cent of UK companies reported a single data breach incident in the past 12 months. Seventeen per cent admitted to having more than one.

Cyber Essentials to the rescue

At The One Point, we have helped countless businesses become cyber essentials certified. We are proud to have watched these businesses thrive, take back control. Allowing them to use technology to propel them forward - rather than have it keep them awake at night with worry.

Cyber Essentials makes a great starting point. It is a government-backed program that helps companies of all sizes protect themselves from a wide range of cyberattacks by increasing the number of security solutions in response to common attacks.

No matter what your company looks like, it can still be vulnerable in the face of these attacks. Cyber Essentials advice will help prevent simple security breaches by average hackers, which are the most common. It also acts as a Trustmark for customers who expect their personal information to be stored on a trusted network and expect your employees to use the web safely.

Cyber Essentials advise the following seven technical controls:

  1. Use a firewall to secure your internet.
  2. Choose the highest security settings.
  3. Control who has access to your data and services.
  4. Use end to end encryption.
  5. Set permissions by user role.
  6. Use only approved software.
  7. Protect yourself from viruses and other malware.

Let's take a look at each more closely.

Use a firewall to secure your internet

A firewall is an application installed on a computer and works by filtering internet traffic by protecting your network from outside attacks. A firewall can be compatible with modern office technology, whether it is an Android, iOS, Windows or Mac machine.

Give added protection to your company and employees resources with a firewall that offers your business an advanced ability to block threats.

Hackers depend on your business choosing convenience, not safety!

Choose the highest device security settings

Manufacturers often set the default configurations on their equipment, such as super easy to break passwords. This is done to help your newly purchased office technology be as accessible as possible - perhaps so you have a great experience and leave a great review. They provide you with a range of features that'll make it easy for you to use them on your own network - 'the works right out of the box' experience everyone values so highly. Virtually always, the customer can change these settings. However, not doing so can leave a harmful and wide opening in your network security.

Control who has access to your data and services

To maintain a competitive edge in this world, most companies have started investing heavily in technology. However, not all of this technology operates with optimum data security options, so businesses must get to know cloud and SaaS services and learn how to utilise advanced settings.

Setting permissions in your business account is one way to help minimise the potential damage if an employee with access conducts malicious activity. Always lock down your accounts with appropriate privileges.

Use end to end encryption

Data encryption is a great way to prevent cybersecurity breaches that might compromise your customer’s confidential information.  Encryption scrambles your files and makes them unreadable to anyone without a unique key or encryption code. Even if hackers manage to get their hands on any part of that scrambled information, it would be useless.

Use only approved software.

Another simple and effective way to ensure your devices stay secure and malware-free is to use software from official sources.

The best way to reduce the risk of users installing software from reputable sources is by installing apps only from the manufacturer-approved store. For mobile devices, this means Google Play on Android or the App Store on Apple iOS.

Keep your devices and security up to date

Most devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones come with automatic cyber security updates, as do many web and cloud systems. Still, it's essential to keep awareness to ensure your updates are successful in helping keep your business safe almost on autopilot. If you don't allow your devices to auto-update, then hackers can easily take advantage of a number of vulnerabilities in your devices that can lead to a cyber attack. Updates exist because IT security experts have discovered the vulnerability and reported them to the manufacturer, who typically must deal with such occurrences. Therefore management and alertness to users of various software tools are critical.

If an expert has found the issue, then no doubt a hacker has seen it too. And they are just waiting to detect a business like yours that has been putting of their updates.

Protect yourself from viruses and other malware

A business should make sure their network and resources are running the latest antivirus updates—including computers, tablets, smartphones and other connected technology. When hackers discover vulnerabilities, even in a mobile device, they can exploit the security of your system, looking for weakness for them to enact malicious intent.

Malware is computer code that deliberately infects computers. One specific type of malware is ransomware, which you may have heard mentioned in the news. Another type is ransomware which makes data inaccessible to its victim until they make a payment to release it. Even your employee’s iOS and Android phones are open to this threat.

Once a business has paid a ransom for their files, they have shown hackers that they are willing to pay, so they will indeed be targeted again as the hacker knows their weakness, lack of cyber security protection, and knows it is worth their time.

What antivirus help is available for SMB’s

At The One Point, we offer cyber security for your business; our services include FREE antivirus protection. We know how critical this is and how easy hackers can bypass your network settings without it.

The One Point can help by scanning your employee's Windows and Mac computers for malicious files and viruses, spyware and trojans etc. We will monitor your network for security threats and points of access. We will uncover attack vulnerabilities even on your Android and iOS. Your cloud technologies are even given a boost in protection. Unprotected computers can have viruses pass unnoticed between machines whenever they can and seek out lower hanging fruit.

Their devices are protected with antivirus and end to end encryption, their network is continuously monitored for vulnerabilities and their employees are savvy to common hacker tactics!

Must all small businesses have cybersecurity?

Quite simply, the consequences of failing to protect your business technology can be devastating; sadly, we have seen the effects of this first hand and only wish the customer had contacted us sooner. Worst of all, with new data protection laws, you can even break the law yourself by not adequately protecting the customer's data that your attacker stole. Devastating news that really does add insult to injury.

It doesn't end here either. This failure can result in fines, sanctions, reputation damage and severe disruption to your businesses operations. Therefore cybersecurity protections is always a good idea for all businesses.

Security for business delivered by The One Point

The One Point have cyber security experts on hand to ensure all your vital data always stays safe. We know how critical cybersecurity is to your company so you can have peace of mind knowing you are working with a Double Microsoft Gold partner capable of protecting customers networks and cloud documents.

We can help by bringing advanced measures to businesses across the United Kingdom. You can get free antivirus at The One Point for all the Managed IT services that we offer. Your business deserves the protection of cybersecurity so empower your employees with our IT Support solutions.

Now is the time to act, and our approach is friendly, easy to digest and aims to minimise disruption to your business where possible.

Technology should propel your business forwardLeave sleepless nights behind.

Get started today. We will give you a free audit and help you discover peace of mind.

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