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Cybercrime and You: Why Cybersecurity Is Critical for Small Businesses

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In 2019, more than $3.5 billion was lost to cybercrime. During this, the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to help you understand the threat of cyberattacks. More importantly, we want to help you see the cybersecurity steps that you can take to protect your business so that you do not become yet another victim of these digital criminals.

In 2019, more than $3.5 billion was lost to cybercrime. During this, the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to help you understand the threat of cyberattacks. More importantly, we want to help you see the cybersecurity steps that you can take to protect your business so that you do not become yet another victim of these digital criminals.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime occurs when criminals target people electronically. These digital crimes can take a variety of forms. For example, cybercrime would include fraud, theft, and malware. These different forms of crime can result in tremendous devastation for the victims as they find themselves attempting to recover their private data, as well as any funds that were lost.

Cybercrime can target individuals and businesses, stealing everything from Social Security numbers and business data to funds directly from the bank.

Why should I care about cybercrime?

It can be tempting to assume that only large companies need to concern themselves with cybercrime. However, these attackers will not limit themselves to only multimillion-dollar organizations. They know that often smaller businesses do not have the same level of protection in place and, thus, can be easier targets.

The dangers of cybercrime exist both offline and online. When attackers gain access to this type of confidential information and resources, they can empty bank accounts, steal private information, and cause tremendous disruption throughout daily life.

Fortunately for businesses of all sizes, basic self-defense practices can help to protect your information and keep your data out of the hands of bad actors. As many as 56% of IT leaders report that they believe their employees have picked up bad cybersecurity practices while working from home, leaving businesses at greater risk for attacks. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business.

Examples of cybercrime

Cybercrime can take several different forms, but all of them can cause tremendous problems for businesses. Knowing the different methods of cybercrime, however, can help you understand the various methods of attack and how businesses can take steps to protect themselves.

Malware attacks

Malware attacks victimize businesses by attacking computer systems and networks. These crimes can take a variety of forms, such as spyware or adware.

Ransomware attacks

With a ransomware attack, the criminals take control of important networks or databases for the business. They lock the rightful owners out and refuse to allow you access until you agree to pay a ransom for the data.

Bots

With a botnet attack, hackers get the computer user to inadvertently download some type of malware that allows them to control the computer. They then can remotely use this computer to further their destruction and commit more crimes. Criminals can end up controlling entire networks of computers and use them for nefarious purposes, such as theft.

Physical cyberattacks

With a physical cyberattack, a criminal uses cyber means to gain control over internet-based machines. For example, they might take control over security infrastructure and disable it for a building.

Social engineering

Social engineering attacks manipulate victims into revealing confidential information that they would not otherwise reveal. For example, an employee receives an “urgent” call from a person pretending to be someone significant at the organization, and demanding confidential information that they need “right away.” This scenario can result in employees mistakenly complying.

Phishing attacks

With a phishing attack, attackers will send deceptive emails or other forms of communication to employees of a company to secure confidential login information or similar data. For example, they might send highly researched emails to a mid-level employee, correctly using the hierarchy of the company and the responsibilities of the recipient in the organization. They then ask for information, such as the login to an account or billing information.

These types of attacks occur often, as 61% of data breaches use compromised credentials. This stresses the importance of businesses paying close attention to the threat of phishing and training employees on how to spot the threat.

How can I better protect myself online?

As a small business owner, you have several tools and processes that you can use to better protect yourself. We will walk you through a few important cybersecurity steps you can use right away.

Secure your networks

If you can connect it, you need to protect it. Wireless routers provide cybercriminals with an excellent means to access online devices. You need to make sure that all of your networks are secured.

Use the latest virus protection software

You also want to make sure that you maintain the latest virus protection software on your network and computers. This provides you with a proven defense against the latest attacks from cybercriminals. Virus protection software works to incorporate information about the latest types of attacks, so you have the best possible protection.

Stay up to date on your software

Developers do not only update their software to improve features and provide a better user experience, they also look for security gaps to close and improve the overall protection you have when using the software. While it can feel tempting to put off running regular security updates, you want to make sure you complete them as soon as possible to protect your business.

Double your login protection

You want to make sure that no unauthorized users can log into your accounts and access your private information, and multifactor authentication (MFA) will help. Creating a two-step login process will help ensure that no one has access to your accounts but you. Even if the criminals manage to secure one of your passwords, such as through phishing or hacking, they will still not reach the account itself. This gives you the chance to update your passwords and make sure that this attacker stays away from your data.

Using this double authentication process can provide powerful protection for users. More than 99.9%of the Microsoft enterprise accounts that have experienced a security breach did not use this important multifactor authentication.

How do I learn more about cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity continues to play a critical role in building a modern business. With criminals interested in attacking your business digitally to steal money and information, you need to make sure that your business has its self-defense systems established. Even after Cybersecurity Awareness Month has passed, you need to make sure your protective measures stay in place.

Fortunately, VersaTrust is here to provide you with the help and support you need to keep your business secure. Contact us today.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

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