The 5 Most Common Cybersecurity Challenges Facing Small Businesses Today

While most small businesses understand that they must balance the costs with the opportunities of technology, they often have a limited understanding of how it presents vulnerabilities. That balance of costs and opportunity often results in IT systems that are interconnected, which leads to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This common challenge bears out in the report from Cisco entitled Small and Mighty, which shows that interconnection enables cybersecurity attacks to spread from system to system.See more at IT Services in Houston

There’s seldom an adequate budget for internal IT, so it’s difficult to see and address cybersecurity challenges in a cohesive way. To help small businesses to start down the path of a more secure IT infrastructure, here are five cybersecurity challenges they face and options for countering them.

#1. Malware

Malware, which is short for “malicious software” covers a host of threats that consists of programs that enter a computer network to cause damage or gain unauthorized access. Types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and ransomware. Knowing this is important, because it helps you determine what type of cybersecurity software you need.

#2. Ransomware

Although ransomware attacks are a form of malware, their rise warrants separate consideration. With ransomware attackers access your data and hold it hostage until you pay a ransom.

 #3. Phishing

 Phishing attacks involve collecting sensitive information like login credentials by getting anyone within the business network to visit a fraudulent site via an email invitation. Spear phishing ups the ante by using in-depth knowledge of specific individuals and social engineering to gain their trust and infiltrate the network.

Phishing scams are not only as big a threat as ransomware, but the former can lead to the latter when a user clicks on the email and gives the attackers access the network and its data.For more details please visit at IT Services in Houston

#4. Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

APTs are long-term targeted attacks where hackers break into a network in phases over time to avoid detection. Once the attacker gets into the network (sophisticated trojans, focused spear phishing or other malware) they avoid detection while working to get a foothold in vital systems. The phased approach makes APT difficult to detect since one detected breach won’t uncover other routes the attacker took to gain entry. 

#5. Identity Management

Most small businesses are vulnerable to password attacks due to employees using weak passwords. This invites brute force attacks (guessing at passwords unit the hacker gets in), dictionary attacks (use of specific dictionary word combinations) and keylogging (tracking user keystrokes to gain login ID/passwords.

Guarding Against Cybersecurity Challenges

Although there are many more cybersecurity challenges faced by small businesses, they all stem from a lack of cybersecurity expertise, limited IT budgets and cohesive planning. The best way to begin guarding against these and other cyber threats is to start with a risk/IT infrastructure assessment that looks at your IT systems and identifies the points of vulnerability. 

Most small businesses grow organically based on opportunities like client and customer base growth and new lines of business, markets, products, services and employees among others. Their IT systems often grow in the same way to respond to that growth via server, data, access, storage, networking, and communication needs. This can result in an unstructured approach to building and expanding the IT systems, which often leaves or builds in cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

These cybersecurity challenges can be avoided by developing an IT strategy that anticipates business growth and system growth plans. Many small businesses lack the IT support and cybersecurity expertise needed to develop and execute such a plan. Internal IT teams for small businesses are often swamped just keeping all systems running. They may have the needed expertise but lack the manpower and budgets to get them done.For any query please visit IT Services in Houston

By partnering with the right managed IT services provider, small businesses and their Internal IT gain the needed expertise, manpower needed for mitigating cybersecurity challenges. With their economy of scale, the right provider can become a cost-effective consultant and partner to anticipate, plan, and implement solutions for needs such as:

  • Desktop and server management
  • Patch management
  • Software updates
  • Integration of new technology
  • Network performance monitoring
  • Password management
  • Email encryption: With end-to-end encryption, only the sender and receiver with a decryption key can view the content of the email and any attachments.
  • Secure authentication: Defining password policies and using single sign-on and multi-factor authentication are good first steps.
  • Backup and disaster recovery (BDR): A solid BDR solution will help you restore operations quickly and avoid downtime and recovery expense.

The right provider can help your business develop an overall IT and security strategy that includes employee education, identity management, and security governance. By planning for these and other IT system needs, your small business can develop the proactive and reactive approach needed to meet cybersecurity challenges. This enables a cost-effective way to protect your business and optimizes system performance today and into the future.For Further details please visit at IT Services in Houston