Safeguarding SMB Customer against Sophisticated Cyberattacks

By CIOReview | Monday, September 18, 2017
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Cybercrime or cyberattacks has become a major concern for the economies across borders, ranging from states, corporates giants, small and medium industries, and even individuals at home. The driving force behind frequent and sophisticated cyber attacks at all levels of organizations, pertains to the idea–what cybercriminals gain? The primary focus of these cybercriminals is to either steal data or exercise illegal acts, such as money laundering or extracting money from organizations. Cyber attacks are an unlawful act carried over the internet, by an individual or group of people against electronic devices (mainly the computer systems), hampering the productivity and overall growth of any organization. The Morrisworm or widely known as Internet worm in 1988, was one of the first computer worms spread to the internet. The worm affected the computers to a point of being unworkable. Most of the organizations store a bulk of invaluable and sensitive data, which if targeted, can possibly ruin the organizations market value. With the evolution in technology the cyberattacks have become intense and innovative, with developed tools, in order to function seamlessly.Small and Medium sized businesses (SMB) have always been on a greater risk of the cyberattacks compared to the bigger organizations. As per the study, of Cyber Security Alliance, nearly 60-65 percent of SMB’s experience substantial number of cyberattacks, while carrying out their business operations. A few organizations succumb to these cyberattacks leading to huge financial losses, and later to closing of the business altogether. The cyber attacks are functioned through local internet connections and later transferred to computer hardware, server, software, external hard drives, digital tablets, smart phones, and other such devices; depending on the device targeted. Cyber attacks can occur in many patterns or types. Few of them are mentioned below for understanding, they are:

• Spam Mails: One of the most common ways of infecting the computers is spam. They are induced in order to send and receive information, whilst suspicion. A spam mail is sent across with offers, deals and promotional links, so as to lure customers into entering their personalized information, leading to scams and threats to one’s privacy.

• Trojan: It’s a dangerous program, which comes embedded inside genuine software, which can execute, install, and run, by itself upon download to a system. It is capable of deleting important information, record your passwords, record credit card details while authorizing an online purchase, and other set of personal information stored on your computer system.

• Ransomware: They are a set of malicious software that is designed to disrupt the functioning or gain authorized access over a computer and its shared networks. Once infected with the ransomware, it often displays a message demanding money, in order to be removed from the computer system. They can be of two kinds–Encrypted and Lock-Screen ransomware. They completely restrict the owner of the organization from accessing the computer system.

SMB owners usually are driven by the thought, that owing to small-scale structure and size of their business they are not vulnerable to cyberattacks. The lack of knowledge or restraint towards security measures, makes SMB’s a primary target for the same compared to the corporate giants, who ensure that their security codes are updated at regular intervals of time, making it difficult for cyber criminals to perform the illegal act. Therefore, the only way for SMB owners to safeguard their organizations from falling to the clutches of sophisticated cyberattacks, is the implementation of strong security measures to their Internet servers or devices, as well as to the shared connections. With the increase in the use of smart phones in personal as well as professional lives, the risk of maintaining cyber security is all the more critical. It is important that business houses, especially SMB’s take important measures towards educating their employees towards adopting measures for cybersecurity, while handling official data.

With more and more employees opting to work from home, it is mandatory that the SMB owners adopt stringent regulations towards data security. This will help them secure their business from facing the harsh consequences of potential cyberattacks. The SMB’s can adopt too few of the cyber security measures listed below and avoid serious implication of financial losses to their organization, the security measures are:

• Encryption: Concealing communication data is an important measure to be considered towards cyber threats. Encryption software is easy to install and can be used on multiple systems. This protects the data from being transferable and restricts unauthorized access.

• Cloud-based Storage: A good way to secure ones important data is by investing in cloud storage. The cloud storage is great help when attempting to retrieve lost data or information.

• Anti-Virus software: One of the most cost effective ways to deal with cyberattacks is the installation of anti-virus software. They safeguard the computer system from malicious viruses and worms, from getting access to the computer system, thereby restricting the access to the computer system.

Furthermore, the SMB owners need to be cautious and stay informed of the various sophisticated cyberattacks that often take place due to pure negligence of the authorized personnel while handling the Internet services within an organization. Hence, it is important that SMB’s should on regular intervals scan their computers, servers, and additional devices for breach of cyber security, and implement measures for business safety.