Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often more susceptible to cyber attacks than giant companies because of their limited resources. Every year, cyber attacks cost SMEs close to $150,000, and 60 percent of those affected closed shop six months after an attack. Sadly, about 90 percent of SMEs lack sufficient data protection.
Here are five cybersecurity threats to SMEs and how custom software development services Chicago wide can help.
1. Internal attacks
Internal attacks arise from within the business. Rogue staff, particularly those who can access business networks, admin accounts, or sensitive data can cause serious damages.
SMEs should identify accounts with access to internal systems and terminate those no longer in use or associated with ex-employees. Additionally, SMEs can seek software development services Chicago businesses can work with to help them implement tools that can track the activity of these important, yet sensitive accounts. This gives businesses an opportunity to respond swiftly if any malicious activity is detected.
2. Spear phishing and ransomware
Spear phishing threats are designed by cyber criminals and executed by sending phishing emails that appear to come from someone the recipient knows, like a valued client, family or senior management. If an employee with a sensitive account gets tricked, the phishing email can unleash a ransomware that can cause devastating effects on the entire ecosystem of an SME.
To reduce the risk of phishing and ransomware, businesses should ensure their employees know the risks, understand ways to spot phishing, and how to avoid phishing emails. In addition, SMEs should have secure backups for crucial data.
Malware refers to any software that’s installed on a computer or any machine to carry out unwanted tasks benefiting a third party. Examples of malware include spyware, Trojans, adware, ransomware and bots.
SMEs should invest in anti-malware programs like solid anti-virus technology as recommended by leading custom software development service providers. Businesses should also ensure that their anti-virus software, operating systems, firmware and firewalls are up-to-date.
4. Poor knowledge of cybersecurity
Incredible cybersecurity strategies, technologies, and policies can only do so much if employees are uneducated about cybersecurity awareness. Employees who don’t know how to safeguard themselves online can jeopardize your business. As such, hold training sessions with your employees to help them identify security threats and manage passwords.
You can also empower your IT staff to handle incidents through training from software development firms. Once trained on handling incidents, your employees can manage security incidents effectively if they occur.
5. Be careful with bring your own device (BYOD) policies
SMEs become more vulnerable to data theft if employees use unsecured mobile devices to access or share business data. Although SMEs encourage BYOD because of limited resources and budgets, unsecured devices can carry malicious software that can bypass security and access business network.
To reduce the risk, have a clearly defined BYOD that informs and educates staff on device expectations, and allows the company to monitor and document files downloaded to business-owned devices.
Technology has transformed SMEs, making them more effective, efficient and safe. However, cyber threats remain one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. By finding the right software development services in Chicago, your SME can partner with them confidently and your business can harness the full potential of technology.