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  • Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats for Small Businesses in 2023

    June 10, 2022

    How seriously does your business take cybersecurity threats? How aware is your staff about potential risks they face every day?

    The answer to these questions may surprise you. The truth is that cybersecurity is an issue often overlooked or neglected in small business environments.

    According to a CNBC post, just 5% of small businesses note cybersecurity as the top threat to their business. While there are definitely other factors that worry businesses, pushing cyber threats down to a lower priority could spell disaster for small businesses without proper IT support in place.

    Below, we have put together a list of the three most critical cybersecurity threats affecting small businesses right now. Use this guide to better prepare you and your staff and avoid a lot of potentially costly mistakes.

    1. Accidental Malware Installation

    Malware is the catch-all term for any type of malicious software that could affect your technology. As computer security has improved, malware has become even more sophisticated in how it infects your computers and other devices.

    Unfortunately, small businesses are at an even greater risk from malware in 2022 than bigger companies. In many cases, users will infect computers or networks without realising it. This could lead to data breaches, identity theft, and even computer systems being used without your authorisation or knowledge.

    How to Avoid this Threat

    • Keep Employees Trained: The best prevention is knowledge. Regular employee training on risks and threats can help keep instances of malware infection down.
    • Update Your Software: Regularly update all software used in your business, such as operating systems, web browsers, and antivirus programs. This ensures that you remain protected as new threats and exploits emerge.
    • Utilise Small Business IT Support: Support from a specialised IT team is essential. If your business has no room or budget for an in-house IT team, consider hiring an IT support company.

    2. Ransomware

    Ransomware is a specific type of malware that is especially insidious. You may find your computers or entire network trapped behind a literal paywall.

    But even if you pay the ransom, you don’t guarantee that you will free your computer. Ransomware attacks are increasing across the world, and they will target any user who is vulnerable. The small business community is especially at risk due to their frequent lack of IT support resources.

    How to Avoid this Threat

    Ransomware as malware can be avoided the same way most other malware can. Training staff about cybersecurity risks is the first step. But it is also critical to recognise warning signs of emails, text messages, or other communication with suspicious links. Frequent updating of all software is also essential to avoiding accidental ransomware installation.

    3. Poor Passwords

    Believe it or not, poor passwords and bad password management still account for 30% of security breaches! Part of the problem is how much of a pain password changes and access can be.

    How to Avoid this Threat

    • Train Employees Not to Use Same Passwords: Using the same or similar passwords is like a stack of dominoes teetering on a cliff. Once one of those dominoes falls, they all do. Train employees to have different passwords for all accounts – especially work-related ones.
    • Use a Password Manager: Multiple small business-level password managers are available to help remember passwords, schedule changes, and simplify for everyone in your business.
    • Change Passwords Regularly: Regular password changes, as annoying as they seem, keep your data secure. Password manager systems can ease the process of regular changes, so it is not as annoying for you and your staff.
    • Have Strong Password Rules: Simple passwords are always more vulnerable. Ensure that password requirements are strong.

    IT Support Right Where You Need It

    The unfortunate truth about keeping up with cybersecurity threats is that it is a 24-hour-a-day job. Simply stated, maintaining your IT security should never be a secondary consideration. That is why it is so critical to get the IT support help you need.

    Tech Seek provides specialised small business IT support custom-suited to your particular needs. Technicians can help with everything from general IT management to data backup and Microsoft 365 integration. If you find yourself a victim of malware or ransomware, we can also help get your systems back up and running.

    We offer new clients a complimentary IT Infrastructure Audit to see right where you are and how we can help. Contact us today to learn how to simplify your IT support and have peace of mind about your data security.