It’s the very rare business these days that does not incorporate technology use into its day to day operations, and increasingly if their tech is not working as it should many businesses grind to a halt. Therefore, the damage that hackers and other bad cyperspace actors can cause in a matter of minutes is often devastating.
It’s easy for a smaller business owner to believe they aren’t a target for hackers and other cybercriminals given the seemingly unending media articles about cybersecurity incidents involving major organizations. Hackers only target the enormous databases of sensitive data held by large organizations, right? You cannot possibly require consulting cyber security services right? No one will ever bother with your business when there are much bigger fish in the sea.
The fact is, however, that yes, your business is at risk. Although huge organizations are the target of the most well-publicized attacks, cybercriminals do not make this distinction. In actuality, small businesses were the origin of some of the largest data breaches of the twenty-first century.
Research and historical statistics show that data breaches have occurred at some level to 67% of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, respectively. Small businesses are frequently targeted by cyberthreats, including ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS), phishing, and other attacks. And they, unlike larger businesses, are far less well equipped to handle the fallout and are, as a result, far more likely to fail to recover.
Small and medium-sized businesses don’t have the massive resources for funding, sales and hiring that larger enterprises do. Why are they such a desirable target for hackers, then? There are a number of crucial reasons behind this:
Hackers are aware that even small businesses deal in information that can be quickly and profitably sold on the Dark Web, including customer contact information, medical information, credit card information, NI or Social Security numbers, bank account information, and more.
Cybercriminals are always trying to find new ways to steal this data. They either use it themselves, or they market it to other criminals who will use it, to gain access to bank accounts, make fraudulent purchases, steal identities for their own use and more.
Some cybercriminals just care about using a company’s systems to create a massive bot army and perform DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks reduce service to a company or group of companies by producing a lot of web traffic on purpose. The unwanted traffic is a result of the hijacked bots. They will be quite happy to hack your small network to enlist your resources into their army.
In order to conduct basic business transactions, manage supply chains, and share information, businesses are now connected digitally, often quite closely. Hackers target smaller partners to gain access to the systems of major corporations since larger companies have networks that are potentially (but not necessarily) more difficult to breach.
Here’s an example. Through the network of a small, independent HVAC contractor that worked with the chain, a hack on a large retail chain in 2014 exposed the personal information of over 100 million accounts. And it completely devastated that small business.
It makes sense that cybercriminals primarily pursue small businesses—or any other company—for financial gain. Although some attacks, like DDoS, are intended to cause disruption, the majority are intended to generate revenue.
This explains why using ransomware as an attack method is so common. It frequently works, bringing in money for the assailants. Hackers will continue to use a particular attack technique as long as it is lucrative to do so.
Even the best cybersecurity experts in the world struggle to deal with some ransomware attacks, leading to even ‘well prepared’ big businesses having to pay thousands in ransom. However, the fact usually emerges that they weren’t that well prepared after all.
At large corporations, entire teams are tasked with handling cybersecurity. For smaller businesses, if those efforts are carried out at all, they are frequently handled by someone who serves multiple roles in the day-to-day operations of the company and is often operating with a limited knowledge of cybersecurity in general.
We can’t state often enough that the risks are very real. Small businesses are particularly susceptible to hackers. It only needs to be right once for a cybercriminal. You must always be prepared to stop hackers if you want to avoid a successful attack.
In today’s threat environment, small business owners need to have a strong security policy in place to feel safe. This degree of readiness starts with an in-depth understanding of the current threats, something that is always the first order of business when we are consulting cyber security services.
In doing so, we cover all the bases, but some of the primary cybersecurity risks we commonly quickly uncover include all the following:
A typical point of entry for ransomware or other infections, phishing frequently works by deceiving users into opening an email attachment or going to a URL that has a virus. Phishing is getting more and more complex, and it can be quite challenging to spot a fake message because hackers target particular people with messages they think they can’t ignore (such as from their bank, or even from a client.)
One of the most common methods that hackers attack businesses with is through ransomware. Data is held captive by ransomware, which also locks machines and encrypts data. Owners must pay a ransom to a hacker, who will then provide a decryption key, in order to regain access to their data. Ransomware often takes hold thanks to an unseen ‘backdoor’ into a network that its users were previously unaware of.
Malvertising, sometimes known as “malware advertising,” is the technique of distributing malware to a network when a user clicks on an advertisement that appears to be legitimate. Due to how it is concealed, malware is challenging to detect, however certain contemporary malware detection technologies are growing better at it.
Similar to malvertising, clickjacking involves hiding connections to compromised websites within legitimate website links. Then, users are encouraged to enter personal data that hackers have stolen in order to harm them.
Using this nefarious technique, malware is unknowingly uploaded into networks. In some cases, users must respond to a pop-up window before the download can start, while in other cases, all it takes is visiting a website that has been secretly compromised.
Hackers employ software defects in widely used web platforms like WordPress, technologies like Java, and file formats like HTML, PDF, and CSV to propagate malware. A lack of updates might make system vulnerabilities worse.
Any business that disregards cybersecurity puts itself at danger. Suppliers, partners, and clients are all at risk as businesses become more interconnected.
At Pearl Lemon Consulting, we provide consulting cyber security services to a variety of industries. Even though each one of them is unique, there are some challenges and problems that crop up repeatedly.
Nearly all companies that experience security breaches have at least one of these IT security flaws. Is your company committing any of these sins?
Unbelievably many companies fail to properly backup their data. Clutch, a market research company, reports that 60% of businesses that experience a data loss shut down within six months, primarily because the data they lost could not be recovered. Could your company withstand a significant data loss?
The tech industry is always changing. Hardware develops more quickly than most people can keep up with, and older systems succumb to wear and tear far more quickly than we would want. Cyber attackers are always coming up with new ways to compromise businesses’ databases and IT systems.
Many businesses hesitate to take action until these issues directly affect them. As a result, costs go up, there is more downtime, and the consequences are worse.
Systems can be fixed before they break or become compromised when you are proactive with your IT needs. Your business will have less downtime, less loss, and lower IT costs as a result. And as a part of our consulting cyber security services we will help you find the most affordable ways to upgrade and replace dangerously outdated tech.
Unexpectedly, a lot of people will select the password “password” to secure their most important accounts. Even more will create their own password and attach it on a post-it note to put next to their computer.
With a weak password or, worse still, none at all, it becomes hard to track the person responsible for reports or accountability. Both audits and technological catastrophes may result from this.
The thing is that those ‘password tricks’ or ‘pre-generated’ passwords don’t always help either. If users can’t remember their password across devices, they’ll still make a note somewhere in their phone, on their computer and other insecure spots.
In cybersecurity, people are typically the weakest link.
This can instantly weaken even excellent cybersecurity. Imagine a door that has modern locks on it, but is propped open with a milk crate. The lock is useless if workers are not trained to use it.
Employees who receive cybersecurity training will be better able to spot threats when they arise and avert or significantly reduce harm.
Businesses and employees may both be tempted to narrow their attention to the price of the ‘tech and devices they buy for the company. In truth, a device’s data is typically worth much more than the actual hardware.
Since their company’s founding, many businesses haven’t changed the way they handle data. For the sole purpose of holding critical data, single machines that have not been upgraded are routinely used. Such devices are obviously weak, obsolete, and prone to malfunction.
When you collaborate with the cybersecurity consulting team at Pearl Lemon Consulting, you strengthen your defenses against various cybersecurity threats with a team of experts. They try to find possible weaknesses rather than reacting after the event. Instead than reacting, they spot vulnerabilities and take precautions.
Internally managed cybersecurity is typically handled by a lone person or a small, overworked team. When you work together with the Pearl Lemon Consulting group, our professionals will be there for you as well as with you, giving you more time to concentrate on your work.
The team at Pearl Lemon Consulting is knowledgeable on the newest and best cybersecurity tools, so you can rely on them. Your business gains from our professionals’ training and attendance at security conferences without having to spend limited resources or valuable time on them.
Our staff will take the time to access your present IT and cybersecurity setup, do a thorough threat assessment, and speak with you about the unique requirements and difficulties your company is facing.
We’ll also go over the reasons why you might have been careless with cybersecurity, as we frequently discover that there are certain problems that firms struggle to solve. Then and only then will we start to offer suggestions.
We go further than that, though. As we previously stated, regardless of the cybersecurity tools and systems you have in place, it is frequently unintended user activity that puts the entire business at danger.
Because of this, we offer the learning materials required for EVERY team member – including remote workers – who interact with your networks to comprehend their responsibility in preventing hacks and security breaches.
Are you prepared to receive the professional consulting cyber security services you require to safeguard your company? Let’s get started when you get in touch with us today.