Large companies are the most common targets for cybersecurity attacks. However, that doesn’t mean that small or medium-sized businesses are outside the danger zone. In fact, hackers are likely to target a small business or organization because they tend to have poor cybersecurity systems compared to large corporations. Nowadays, any type of business can be exposed to a variety of risks online. To make sure your company is secured, you must become familiar with its biggest vulnerabilities.
Common Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
Below is a list of the three most common cybersecurity vulnerabilities found in small and medium-sized businesses. If you find that your business has any of these vulnerabilities, make sure to act on it immediately.
#1 Poor Authentication
For starters, the largest number of cybersecurity attacks happens because of weak or stolen passwords. Obtaining users’ passwords is one of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to larger networks simply because people make it easy for them. Not many small businesses focus on securing their authentication procedures, which results in an increase in cybersecurity risk. To make sure hackers cannot easily breach your network and steal data, create stronger and encrypted passwords, avoid URLs with sensitive IDs and employ two-factor authentication across all platforms.
#2 Denial of Service Attacks
Because of poor IT structures, many businesses are prone to Denial of Service Attacks, which is a very common type of cybersecurity threat. These attacks are very simple to execute and can lead to serious consequences such as website downtime and poor performance. Hackers use this technique to overload the company’s server and use its downtime to access the network or steal data. To cover up this vulnerability, businesses must develop a stronger cybersecurity system and use a VPN to encrypt their server’s data and traffic.
#3 Lost Devices
There’s not much you can do after a device is lost or stolen. However, if that device had confidential or sensitive business information, it could be exploited for malicious purposes. Since there is no way of retrieving the device after it is long gone, you must think of this potential threat beforehand. Thus, make sure to secure all devices that have access to any type of data related to your business. You can also install security applications that allow you to delete all files and data on the device in case it is lost or stolen.
The Number One Security Vulnerability
While these three vulnerabilities can cost you your business, they’re not as dangerous as this one. Namely, the largest cybersecurity vulnerability of any business are its employees. There are two ways in which employees can become a threat to your business. Firstly, they can become an inside threat for many different reasons. For example, people can hold a grudge if they get fired from a job, which can motivate them to leak or sell information related to your business.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to restrict access to the network to anyone who has been recently fired from the company. It is also a good idea to restrict access to all employees and allow them to only use the areas of the network related to their job position. What makes employees one of the largest business vulnerabilities is the fact that they can make an error unknowingly and thus cause a cybersecurity incident.
Human error is a common reason why many businesses experience security breaches. Employees are often not familiar with potential security risks and, since they cannot recognize a threat, they won’t do anything to protect the company. That is why it is important to educate your employees and raise awareness about cybersecurity incidents. You can start by holding monthly or weekly meetings to educate the employees on the topic of NIST security measures that can help keep your business protected.
Security threats can come from many directions. The more familiar you are with the vulnerabilities in your business, the more likely you will be able to protect it. However, many business owners don’t see their employees as a potential threat so they fail to educate them on the importance of cybersecurity. This is your chance to act on the issue while it’s still not too late!