Key Trends in Cybersecurity to Track for Your Small Business

Recent headlines on ransomware attacks have heightened the concern for cybersecurity. But it’s not just the big companies sounding the alarm. One in five small and medium-sized businesses also report falling victim to a ransomware attack. It’s resulted in costly downtime and compromised client data. That’s why it’s important to monitor trends in cybersecurity so you can adjust to protect your business. Start by learning more about these recent cyber trends.

More businesses are migrating to the cloud.

More businesses are migrating from in-house to cloud-based systems. They offer 24/7 access from anywhere, free up data storage, and automatically backup your system. But they are also an attractive target for hackers, especially if multiple businesses are on the same cloud system.

Since the cloud can be accessed by any personal device, the data is susceptible to many different entry points. Each is a potential breach threat. Cloud systems and businesses need to account for these entry points in their cyber plan.

Remote work has complicated security needs.

Many small business owners find it more cost-effective to hire contractors using remote networks. And businesses with employees have seen an increase in staff working from home, fueled by the pandemic.

In both cases, owners have had to expand their security efforts to address threats from outside networks. When security is breached in a remote network, it spills over to the business.

Spoof accounts are an emerging “soft” threat.

Cybercriminals are an innovative group. They are always coming up with quiet, often hidden ways to attack. Spoof accounts are an example of these “soft” threats.

SmallBusinessBonfire describes it as setting up a convincing but fake Facebook account for your business. Then, they “friend” all of your subscribing customers and employees. Acting on the trust your real account has, they solicit sensitive information from them. 

Merging of cybersecurity protection and cyber liability insurance.

Security Magazine reports on a trend to pair the right cybersecurity platform with an insurer’s cyber liability policy. Insurers can lower their overall risk using the latest technology to reduce the likelihood of an attack. Small business owners win by no longer having to juggle complex technology while trying to find the right coverage that will cover them if they ever have a breach.

Employees can be the canary in the cybersecurity cage.

SmallBizTrends reports that employees can be one of the first to recognize a problem. In fact, 23% of employees in businesses with 50 or fewer employees, were most likely to believe their employer’s digital information is insecure. Unfortunately, when they reported the concern, 44% said their business owner was only slightly or not at all responsive. That could be a missed opportunity for early intervention.

Social engineering makes employee training even more important.

Hackers use social connections to engineer attacks. For example, there’s been a 600% increase in phishing attempts in the last year. It involves a fraudulent attempt to get secure information, like passwords or credit card information, from employees and customers. SecurityBoulevard reports 85% of organizations have been hit by phishing attacks in 2020.

It can be as simple as an email that looks like it comes from your business. It might report there’s a network outage and asks the recipient to click on a link and log back into your system. Of course, they provide their password in the process. Only one employee has to fall victim to this ploy for them to gain access to your system.

To protect their system, more businesses are providing cyber training to employees. Some even send out fake emails of their own, as a training exercise.

Cyber threats have become an ongoing issue, especially for small businesses. Consider whether your business is vulnerable to one of these emerging trends so you can proactively develop plans to address them.

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