SMB stands for small and medium-sized businesses, and unfortunately, these are the businesses that are often the highest targets of cybercriminals.

SMB cybersecurity is no longer an acronym reserved for only tech-savvy industries. Businesses of all industries, from retail to healthcare, have an online presence and store sensitive customer information. This means that they’re ideal candidates as victims of cyber criminal activity.

Cyber Threats to SMBs

Understanding what kind of threats to look out for is the first step to preventing them. There are ranges of threats that can hurt your SMB cybersecurity including:

  1. Ransomware – where a hacker will block access to your files until you pay to decrypt them
  2. Phishing – where a hacker pretends to be someone legitimate in order to collect sensitive information
  3. Data Breaches – unauthorized access and theft of customer information

These threats are becoming increasingly common, and the costs are becoming more than a lot of SMBs are able to handle.

According to Statista, as of 2022, the average cost of a data breach in the United States amounted to 9.44 million U.S. dollars.

And a report by Coveware, showed that the average ransom payment was $228,125 at the first quarter of 2022.

Strikingly, the average cost of a phishing attack in 2022 was $4.91 Million, according to CSO.

These numbers alone are enough to warrant alertness. Now that we’re aware of them, what can we do to take measures to work against these threats?

Challenges to SMB Cybersecurity

SMBs often have limited resources which can make it difficult for them to combat these threats. Because of this, cybercriminals tend tol target SMBs, fully aware they may not have as robust cybersecurity measures in place as other larger corporations.

Other common challenges include lack of awareness or education on cybersecurity threats, and a lack of proper budget allocated towards cybersecurity.

How to Overcome These Challenges

There are some steps SMBs can take to not only recognize these threats early on, but prevent them entirely. Luckily, there are many security measures that can be put in place to give you more peace of mind.

Training Your Employees

Employees are often the weakest link when it comes to cyber threats. That’s because they’re often misinformed on what they need to look out for and what to do to prevent an attack from happening.

Phishing emails are common ways employees get tricked into giving away sensitive information. Implementing regular cybersecurity training can help educate employees on how to spot and avoid these attacks, keeping your SMB cybersecurity well protected.

Enforcing Stricter Password Policies

Creating easy-to-remember passwords for every account is an easy slip up cybercriminals look for. It may seem more convenient to keep a uniform set of passwords, but this can put your entire system at risk if just one password is compromised.

Enforcing strong passwords and regularly changing them can prevent attackers from easily getting access to your system.

Multi-Factor Authentication

On top of strong password protection, multi-factor authentication acts as an extra secure padding. You can confirm you’re the person signing in through your phone or email, signifying additional precaution and ultimately, keeping unwanted parties out.

Business Continuity Plan

In the event that a cyber attack does occur, it’s important to have a plan in place to minimize damage and quickly recover.

This is where many places fall short, not having a plan in case the worst does happen. A business continuity plan is crucial for minimizing downtime and damages, and getting back up and running as quickly as possible.

Hiring a Managed IT Service Provider

By hiring a managed IT service provider for your business can be one of the most effective ways to ward off cyber attacks. These providers can help by setting up preventative measures as well as monitoring for any potential threats. Cybersecurity is not just an added cost, but an investment in the future of your company.

Here at Telewire, we offer cybersecurity and managed IT services so that your data is monitored around the clock. We offer a comprehensive list of services we provide to make sure your SMB cybersecurity is well protected. Get started with us today to ensure your company is safe from any potential cyber threats.