The recent studies by Cybersecurity Ventures reveal that by 2021 the cybersecurity damages might cost organizations to $6 trillion. If you’re a small business without dedicated IT resources, all these stats may shock you.
With each day, the small and medium-sized business networks are subjected to such risks. Any worker can access files from some insecure location. The employee can mistakenly click on some fake email that seems appears to be real from any unknown source to spread malware. An outdated software application can present a vulnerability that allows unauthorized access. Protecting your business is extremely important and requires a responsive strategy.
Falling a victim to the file-based attacks can result in great problems for the SMBs. An attack can cause damage to critical data stored within the organizations’ system. Such massive loss can force the organization to halt its operations and it eventually results in financial loss. This also affects their name in the stock exchange market despite the fact that they have complete guidance on trading.
But, if a customer’s sensitive data is compromised, then the company might also face legal inquiries and lawsuits. It will not just hit their overall reputation but will also discourage customers from doing business with them.
Despite all these risks, SMBs still invest little in cybersecurity. Luckily, new and improved solutions that specifically focuses on file-based attack protection are emerging. In this post, we’ve compiled ways by which SMBs can reduce the risks of these attacks. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Such Attacks
Till now you all have understood the threats and risks imposed by the file-based attacks. Now, moving forward we must put our heads together to come up with solutions to tackle this growing issue.
Here are some ways or let’s say security practices that help in reducing and preventing such attacks.
Use of Email and Strong Spam Filters
In 2019, 293 billion business and customer emails were sent and received on average each day. The number is predicted to increase to 347 billion by the start of 2024. This spam becomes an increasingly effective method of cyber-attacks. It is found that 14.2% of people use one of these spam emails in 2018.
Work emails are vulnerable and can exploit you. Employees without taking this matter seriously click on spam email links, download, and run dangerous attachments. Most of the small businesses also rely on the free email accounts that come with their website hosting packages. However, they aren’t aware that such accounts are not properly secured and don’t have the necessary filtering and security features that scan malicious emails.
To mitigate such risks, companies must integrate strict spam filters that can protect who hits to the companies’ inbox by blocking the spam emails. Another flexible measure is to adopt a solution such as encrypted email solutions. Such email services act as a proxy mail for a company’s mail server, seizing any incoming mail that has potentially damaging attachments.
Carefully Detect Phishing Attacks and Train Employees
To prevent the file-based attacks requires users to change their conventional behavior and mindset. This most importantly includes making sure that they successfully detect different social engineering attacks such as phishing attacks.
Phishing is a name given to the fake practice of sending deceiving emails to get a hold on their financial and personal information from an unknown source. The extensive email communication has made it one of the most common cyber-attack.
Such emails are usually sent to replicate a real correspondence from any reliable trustworthy source like financial institutions, HR, or government offices. The SMBs must train their employees to spot any suspicious emails and links. Staff should be taught to cross-check the downloaded file for legitimacy and safety.
Improve Access Control
Most SMBs use servers or cloud storage to keep and share files to clients and employees from any device at any time. These can be a cost-effective solution that also prevents sensitive data loss. But, without proper security measures, such online components they might get exposed to attacks.
It is because users often use weak passwords which are easily broken down by hackers. Hackers not just steal valuable data, but also insert malware in the stored documents to spread the malware further.
To ensure the safety of all accounts, organizations should start using identity and access management platforms. This service can authenticate the working staff and give them access to various applications or files in the cloud. It also characterizes multi-factor authentication to provide some additional layer of security to secure them from unauthorized access.
Focus on Security
The SMBs thinks that cybercriminals will only attack the big giant organizations. However, there is no such thing as small for hackers in this era. The cybercriminals like to target SMBs companies because of their mentality and mindset.
According to the stats, 43% of the cyberattacks were made on SMBs. With this ratio, it is vital for the organization to focus on security and take it seriously too. Organizations are now looking for security tools and practices which can benefit them.
Enterprises should integrate themselves with the necessary tools and educate their employees regarding protecting themselves from cybersecurity threats. SMBs not just secure their business but also their clients, and staff from the clutches of hackers.
Use Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Tools
These tools are popular for providing a high level of endpoint security, which protects organizations against the signature-based attacks and also scan files for malicious threats by checking against the threat intelligence databases. Remember, anti-virus solutions prove to provide limited protection against the new and more advanced cyber threats. Therefore, another security option that provides an extra layer of security should be considered to be used as a VPN.
Conduct Vulnerability Assessment Regularly
The fundamental changes to the organization’s IT environment, involving big data, cloud computing, and IoT make the threat hunting process significantly difficult. It is so because the security teams are chasing an ever-increasing list of technologies, software, along with a huge number of customers and staff’s sensitive data.
In this era, lack of resources and manpower to conduct regular assessments and scans is an alarming situation. Do consider hiring a threat expert and vulnerability management service, provider.
It is an essential element of cyber risk management that allows you to recognize attacks at an early stage. Moreover, it also accelerates threats for remediation before they can cause much damage to your business.
As the file-based attacks increase significantly, it becomes the job of every individual to play their part in equipping themselves with the most appropriate tools to protect their data. Cybersecurity must be a priority and everyone should start looking for capable security solutions that help in data protection and reducing any damage resulted because of such file-based attacks.