Technology has rapidly overwhelmed the modern world. Everything we do, personal or business it involves technology one-way or the other. With time cybersecurity is getting more and more relevant as not only big corporations but small businesses continue to be the top target for hackers. Small companies have more tendency to be affected by these attacks as they lack the necessary infrastructure to insecure the online security. According to The Ponemon Institute, 2017 reports, drastic increase in these attacks in 2017 with 6 percent rise from the former year. Data breaches were up to 54 percent from 50 percent in 2016. Businesses need a more secure solution to this problem and for that awareness and training sessions about cybersecurity and their prevention are essential. Organizations need to design, implement and upgrade the security measures and conduct core security check (Ericsson, 2010).
According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute 2017, 6 percent increase in online security threats and cyber-attacks are observed, and it’s increasing every year. Each year promise faster internet but also increases the risks of being attacked by hackers especially if the company have weak security links.
This year possess three significant threats to small businesses concerning cyber security.
Causes and Effects
- Internet of things leakages: Internet of things lacks built-in security and hence an easy target for hackers. The most common way to hack IoT devices hackers use is by locating the IoT devices and then use admin credentials to log in. Most users do not change default admin login information and compromise security. Hackers can take control of the device completely.
- Vague Algorithm: Using more algorithms to interact with devices eventually result in losing visibility into working and networking with organization’s system. We are developing systems that are more critical over algorithms every day and lack of proper interaction between algorithms cause incidents. To ensure the safety, an organization should have a human observing the implementation of tasks and decision hand-over to algorithms. Updating the code maintenance strategy is another way to secure the system.
- Neglecting security warnings from researchers: Researchers are often being silenced by the companies, which cannot secure their data and end up risking user’s online security. Researchers are likely to reveal the vulnerabilities often hide by corporations instead of fixing them to the public for more secure systems. Those organizations work with researchers continually identifying weaknesses are more successful than those fighting with legal actions are (Choo, 2011).
Majority of the security concerns related to the Internet of things depend upon the development of the device and the technologies used to build it. Therefore, awareness of choosing an IT solution for your business is crucial. Small setups do not have resources to obtain maximum security but taking some simple steps can improve the overall safety.
Precautions to prevent security breach:
- Strong Password: The first and most essential yet straightforward step is to create a strong password. People usually do not tend to pay attention towards passwords and select patterns that are easy to remember. Banking environment is just as quickly targeted as any other system and having the weak password can lead to serious vulnerability.
- Strong Security Policy: Another way to shield your small business from cyber-attacks is to improve security protocols and assured their consistent implementation. The approach must fill through all features of the business, and personnel must be made aware of it, and proper steps must take place to make sure they adopt it.
- Install Anti-virus/malware: It is important to have a malware function installed on your company systems to avoid any suspicious activity. Anti-viruses are more problem-specific functions, used to target specific viruses. Therefore it’s better to have an extra layer of security.
- Data Encryption: Encrypting your data is making passwords for your data through software. It is vital to encrypt your data before uploading it to company’s servers or cloud. A user cannot access the data without the other password generated by encryption software.
- Network security: Company should use WPA2 standard Wi-Fi and have a complicated password (Abawajy 2014).
The use of technology and the threat it possesses in term of vulnerability is inevitable. Most companies do not understand the intensity of cyber-crimes and how to prevent it, especially for small businesses. It can be extremely challenging for the companies having sensitive data to protect their customer’s privacy. To minimize the hazards of hacking, the organizations should conduct awareness programs and train their employees according to the modern norms. Taking few easy step can less the potential danger such as having a strong security policy, Install and update anti-malware software regularly, use encrypted data and tight network security.
Abawajy, J. (2014). User preference of cyber security awareness delivery methods. Behavior & Information Technology, 33(3), 237-248.
Choo, K. K. R. (2011). The cyber threat landscape: Challenges and future research directions. Computers & Security, 30(8), 719-731.
Ericsson, G. N. (2010). Cybersecurity and power system communication—essential parts of smart grid infrastructure. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, 25(3), 1501-1507.