Top Three Cyber Threats to Your Small Business in 2019 and How to Protect Your Data

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By Amy Taylor

Sponsored by CMIT Solutions of Centreville

Hackers are hard at work 24 hours a day to steal your small business data. While all sensitive data is valuable, don’t let cyber threats keep you up at night. Help is available to combat these criminals and keep your business data safe.

Top Threats to Small Business Data

Here are the top three threats to your small business data in 2019.

  • Ransomware has been a top threat for the past five years and it’s not going anywhere in 2019. Common ransomware viruses include Cryptowall, Cryptolocker and TeslaCrypt. Ransomware infects your computer, tablet or phone and demands that you pay a hefty sum in a specified time period or they will erase all of your data.
  • Inside vulnerability continues to be a top cyber threat for your small business. This is when someone within your organization accidentally or purposefully exposes your company data to hackers. Most data breaches caused by employees are accidental and can be alleviated by properly training your staff in IT safety.
  • Phishing attacks will continue to be a top threat in 2019. Phishing usually takes the form of a very well-disguised email request for information. These emails can appear to be legitimately from financial institutions and request sensitive data. Phishing can be prevented through strong spam filters and a good firewall. Training your employees to recognize phishing attacks and not divulge any sensitive information can also protect your data from this threat.

Why Small Business Data Isn’t as Safe as You Think

As a small business owner, you may think that your data isn’t really at high risk from hackers. You may be surprised that in 2017, 61 percent of small to medium businesses surveyed were victims of cyberattacks, according to a study done by the Ponemon Institute.

Small businesses are easier to target. They tend to be more unprepared for a cyber attack than larger corporations and have less security barriers to their data. Hackers know these vulnerabilities and target many small businesses, as it’s easier to steal data from many small, less secure sources than one larger, secure source.

Small business also tend to underestimate the value of their data. If you have a small amount of data in your business, it’s still valuable to hackers. IBM did a recent study that valued each stolen record of sensitive information at approximate $148. This can add up quickly when hackers are invading multiple small businesses. Any amount of sensitive data is worth protecting.

Find a Managed Security Service Provider

When you’re running a small business, you wear many different hats. Staying on top of IT issues and keeping your data safe should be near the top of your to-do list, but that’s not always realistic with the heavy workload of running a business. The best way you can protect your business and your data is through a managed security service provider, or MSSP.

CMIT Solutions of Centreville protects your business from cyber threats around the clock through multi-layered security defense. They begin by creating a strong network perimeter, including a managed firewall, active network management and periodic network inspections. Next they proactively monitor your systems to keep hackers out. They install anti-malware and anti-virus software, DNS filtering and anti-spam protection. This blocks incoming threats from malware, viruses, malicious sites and spam email.

Your best line of cyber defense is your employees. CMIT suggests investing in training your employees on cyber security so that they can protect your data.

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