One of the most devastating things that can happen to your small business is a potential loss of data, access to company files, or even becoming completely locked out of your own network or system. These are all things that can result from an attack on your business’ cybersecurity by a hacker. In 2019, it was estimated that cyber-attacks cost companies an average of $200,000, which can put many out of business.
It was found that 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses while only 14% of those are financially prepared for such a blow. Throughout the year, more than half of the surveyed businesses were attacked, and that number will continue to rise, as this activity was one of the fastest-growing crimes in the last year.
If you are growing concerned about your small business’ vulnerability to cyber-attacks, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to identify and protect yourself against cyber-attacks. The information provided here will help you do just that.
How to Identify A Cyber-Attack
It takes an average of 100-200 days for companies to detect threats to cybersecurity. For a small business, such a length of time could spell the ending of your business’ vitality due to the costs of recovering from the attack, loss of access to company data, or a myriad of other things. Here are a few signs you can look for to recognize a cyber-attack sooner rather than later:
- Suspicious Emails: There are many different types of cybersecurity threats, and often times they are not used alone but can deliver devastating effects when executed in combination. One example of this is phishing. Phishing is the use of an email, seemingly from a familiar person or taking the form of a marketing email of sorts, to coerce a victim into releasing personal information. A hacker could gain access to company records and data by disguising malware within an email designed to appear that it is from a colleague.
- Slow Network Functionality: If a hacker gains control of your network, you may notice a significant decrease in the speed of network traffic, reducing internet speed and directly affecting business productivity. If you or any of your staff are noticing persistent problems in network speeds, this is something that urgently needs to be brought up to IT professionals.
What to Do If Your Business Has Experienced a Cyber-Attack
Unfortunately, due to the highly covert nature of cyber-attacks, hackers often go free after attacking a business of any size. Insurance policies have not yet caught up to businesses’ needs concerning cybersecurity, as this is a realm that is constantly evolving and rapidly expanding.
To protect your business from lasting damage to compromised cybersecurity, you need to consider purchasing cyber liability insurance, and/or hire a professional IT company to partner with your business. Although unseen, hackers can do a shocking amount of damage to your business’ productivity with just a pop-up advertisement or an email. Knowing the types of cyber-attacks to look for, including malware and phishing, and the signs that point to them will help you to identify the problem as soon as possible and seek the proper help.