Cyber attacks and cyber crime may seem like fiction, but businesses experience sophisticated and pervasive cyber security threats every day. In fact, SMEs are one of the main targets for cybercriminals around the world.
Cyber crime in the UK has increased by 40% since 2020, with 32% of UK businesses having experienced a cyber attack between 2022 and 2023.
Cyber Security for Small Businesses
Online hackers view small businesses as prime targets. This is because they usually lack the necessary cyber security resources and knowledge to sufficiently safeguard their business assets. This can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and damage to your businesses’ reputation. In fact, 60% of SMEs go out of business during the 6 months following a cyber attack.
With that in mind, it’s crucial for small business owners to be proactive and knowledgeable about online security. Look at some best practices and the cyber security services now on offer.
We want to help you protect your business. So, here are 6 most common mistakes made by small business owners when it comes to IT security:
1. Letting Phishing Emails & Malware Slide In
The easiest way to tackle a cyber security threat is to avoid it in the first place.
Scammers are becoming more and more imaginative. They deploy bad links, push malicious software, and personify reputable companies asking for sensitive data or money transfers. As a result, phishing is the most common cyber threat according to recent data. In 2021 alone, there were 323,972 phishing attacks reported globally, meaning 888 attacks were reported every single day!
The way out of this is to not allow phishing emails and malware to infiltrate your business. How? Employing robust spam filtering software, anti-virus software, and managed firewall service.
At DVAD, we offer both detection and response services for leading brands such as Barracuda, WatchGuard, AVG and Draytek. Our team ensures our customers’ business data is as safe as possible.
2. Weak Password Practices
Coming up with a new password for every system you work on is a bit of a nightmare. However, weak or easily guessable passwords are an open invitation for cybercriminals. Many small businesses still rely on default passwords or use simple combinations such as “123456” or “password.”
Such practices make it effortless for hackers to gain unauthorised access to sensitive business information. That’s why you should encourage your employees to create strong, unique passwords for each account. Plus, implement multi factor authentication whenever possible. Password managers, such as Bitwarden and LastPass, are also useful tools for securely storing and managing login credentials between employees.
At DVAD, we offer penetration testing (also known as ethical hacking) as one of our cyber security services. Think of this as an in-depth IT security audit! It involves us simulating a real-world cyber attack to identify IT vulnerabilities within your business that malicious hackers could exploit. This service then helps us to implement effective measures to mitigate those risks and protect your business information.
3. Neglecting Regular Software Updates
Rushed employees often dismiss software and system updates, which are usually designed to address security vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorised access or infect systems with malware.
Implement regular software updates, and ensure your employees install updates as soon as they become available. This way, you can make sure your business is protected against malicious IT threats.
Want to reduce the risk of exploitation even further? Enable automatic updates to ensure that security patches are applied promptly.
4. Insufficient Data Backup & Recovery Plans
We live in the era of data. As necessary as data is, managing and storing it properly can be a difficult task. Having said that, data loss can be devastating for small businesses. Have you implemented a correct data storage and backup plan to be ready for an incident response?
It’s important to regularly back up critical business data and ensure that backups are stored securely, preferably off-site or in the cloud. Additionally, testing the restoration process periodically ensures that backups are functional and can be relied upon when needed.
At DVAD, we offer reliable data backup and disaster recovery solutions for small businesses, ensuring our customers receive complete data protection.
5. Underestimating the Need for Professional Assistance
To save costs, small business owners often attempt to handle all aspects of cyber security themselves. However, the evolving nature of cyber threats and the complexities of implementing effective security measures require time and constant dedication, which smaller businesses might not always have available.
Professional cyber security experts or managed security service providers (MSSPs) can proactively assess vulnerabilities, develop robust security strategies, and provide ongoing monitoring and support.
Expert IT security solutions from DVAD offer tailored cyber security solutions that are proactive, cost-effective and deliver total peace of mind.
6. Lack of Employee Training
One of the most significant mistakes small businesses make is failing to prioritise cyber security training for their employees. Luckily, it’s one of the easiest fixes, too.
Human error is a leading cause of most cyber attacks, such as clicking on phishing emails, using weak passwords, or falling for social engineering tactics. So, it’s promising that UK organisations have the highest rates of training (52%) among European and Middle Eastern countries surveyed by Proofpoint.
At DVAD, we offer training programs to educate business owners and employees about cyber security risks and best practices. Plus, how to recognise and respond to potential threats such as phishing attacks. Often, knowing how to spot a cyber attack is all that’s needed to prevent an attack from taking place.
Cyber Security Solutions in Manchester and Leeds
We’ve been working as a cyber security consultant for over 35 years. Specialising in small and medium businesses, our comprehensive range of services help more and more companies strengthen their cyber security in Manchester and Leeds. Our promise? To protect their digital assets and mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats.
Our cyber security services include:
- Anti-virus software
- Vulnerability assessments
- Firewall implementation
- Spam filtering software
- Penetration testing
- Disaster recovery services
- Cyber security awareness training
More information on these cyber security managed services can be found here: https://dvad.co.uk/it-services/cyber-security/.
When it comes to cyber security services for small businesses, it’s crucial for owners to understand the importance of prioritising cyber security. By avoiding common mistakes such as a lack of training and weak password practices, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyber threats.
Do you want to keep your business reputation protected? Book a FREE risk assessment of your cyber security with us in this form and see how your current cyber security performs. You can always call us on +0800 84 999 84, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on your cyber security management.