How Hackers are Targeting Your Small Business

by | Apr 26, 2021

Hackers are always looking for ways to breach into small businesses and steal your information. 

It’s not uncommon to receive emails, ads, or other technology outlets with malware, viruses, and phishing attacks. Hackers are always trying to con owners and employees into handing over confidential or financial information. 

 Identifying how hackers target businesses can help you gain a deeper understanding of protecting yourself from these threats.  

Keeping up to date and following best practices is a great step in the right direction in protecting your assets and your reputation. Remember, your business is your customers. So here are some common ways hackers target small businesses and how you can protect yourself:  |

  • Ransomware Extortion 
  • Targeting Customer Records 
  • Targeting Financial Information 
  • Social Engineering 

Ransomware Extortion 

Attacks rise and fall in popularity.  

Fifteen years ago, computer worms were the most common attack that businesses faced. Security software wasn’t as advanced or as widely used at it is today. Computer worms were, at the time, an exceptionally low-cost and efficient way to inflict the maximum amount of damage for minimum cost.  

Today ransomware has seen an unfortunate boom in popularity.  

This technology aims to encrypt the target’s files on their personal computer. This technique denies the victim access to their own information and are charged a large fee in exchange for the key to retrieve the victim’s own data.  

The attack has worked so often because it requires minimal effort and can be used again and again. Many businesses have no option but to pay because the data is worth far more than the ransom demand the hackers have made. 

The best defense against these ransomware attacks: up-to-date offsite backup. One that is tested and examined by professional help. We help businesses develop a disaster recovery plan that way you are protected against many types of threats.

Targeting Customer Records 

One if not the most important thing you can do for your customers is take extra measures to protect their data.  

Records which include names, dates of birth, and other personally identifying details. These details are extremely valuable to hackers or criminals who, either use them personally or sell them on to someone who will.  

This is why you must be compliant. 

Many regions have strict laws and guidelines (compliance) about how this information must be stored, accessed and protected. Failing to follow these can result in severe penalties that could devastate any company.  

Targeting Financial Information  

Like personal information, a small business must take extreme care when storing customer financial information.  

This falls in line with compliance guidelines. Sensitive details such as credit card or banking information are a key target for hackers looking to steal money fast.  

The impact on your business reputation following a breach of financial data will be severe and devastating. Even a simple mistake can require years of advertising and great PR to repair. Many firms fail to recover after losing the trust of their customers.    

Social Engineering 

Most firms today run good IT security packages to protect against online attacks and other forms of malware. Attackers often know to take their methods offline to achieve the best results.  

Whether posing as a supplier, customer, or interested party; attackers can seek to gain information that you may be less than willing to hand over to a stranger. Keeping your staff properly trained is a great line of defense. 

Be particularly cautious of the information you provide when discussing business with individuals you haven’t spoken to before. 

Keeping Your Small Business Safe  

Each of these targets and attacks are just some of the most popular and hard-hitting attacks out there now. The list is forever changing, and the methods we use to protect against them always needs to change too.  

Some can be defended against with great security, backups, and software. Others, such as social engineering, need you and your staff to stay up-to-date and remain vigilant about the major attacks affecting small business today.  

If you need help tightening your businesses security, give us a call at (800) 297–8293. 

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