4 of the Most Common Small Business Cyberattacks

4 of the Most Common Small Business Cyberattacks

Small business owners are often the target of cyberattacks because their security measures cannot compare to a major corporation. Cybercrimes cost businesses over $2.7 billion a year, and this is a figure that continues to rise.

As a firm offering cybersecurity in Miami, we see our clients experience a wide range of attacks.

However, the most common cyberattacks are often the easiest to perform and safeguard against. These threats include:

4 Small Business Cyberattacks to Safeguard Against

1. Phishing

Phishing has been around for decades, yet these types of attacks remain some of the most popular. Hackers will send an email to an employee, who in turn, opens the mail and clicks on a link or opens an attachment.

Once either of these actions are taken, malicious code runs, and the computer is infected with malware. However, these are just basic phishing attacks. There is an abundance of phishing attacks that can occur, including:

  • Deceptive phishing – the most common, which may include legitimate links, malicious code and make use of redirects to infect the small business’s systems.
  • Spear phishing – a more sophisticated attack that aims for the victim to submit personal data.
  • Whaling – an attempt to get a higher up in the business to provide log-in details to gain access to systems and accounts.

Additionally, there are other tactics that include vishing, smishing and pharming to name a few.

2. Malware

Malware is a very general term for any form of software that is designed to damage your:

  • Network
  • Computer
  • Other hardware

Viruses can be bundled into malware, too. Additionally, there are point-of-sale malware attacks aimed to steal transaction data from customers. However, some malware will sit undetected in the background of a system while it gathers employee usernames, passwords, and other information.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and you’ll see reports of entities of all sizes falling victim to these attacks:

  • Regular people
  • Small and large business owners
  • Local schools
  • Utility companies

A ransomware attack uses a form of malware to infect a system, encrypt data and restrict access. Phishing emails or software exploits are often used to initiate the attack, and the hacker will demand a ransom payment to unlock your data.

4. Social Engineering

If cyber criminals want to target a specific small business, they’ll often engage in what’s known as social engineering. These sophisticated attacks are meant to use your trust to create a sense of urgency and gain access to your business’s data.

For example, an attack may spoof a phone number or email, making it look like the owner of a major company that you contract with.

The mail may ask for log-in information for their account or other valuable data. Since these attacks are very precise and use emotion to get an owner or employee to take a specific action, they’re often very successful.

These are just a few of the attacks that can happen. SQL injections, brute force, Distributed denial-of-Service (DDoS) and other attacks can be made against a small business. Protecting against these attacks is crucial and requires a strategic effort from all stakeholders and cybersecurity experts.

If your business needs a security review or to implement best practices, our firm offers cybersecurity in Miami and the surrounding areas.