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Jul 20, 2021
3 min read
Last update: May 16, 2024

5 Cybersecurity Threats that Plague Small Businesses and Tips on How to Avoid Them

Even small businesses are at risk for cybersecurity threats. Learn about some of the most common cybersecurity threats facing small businesses today and discover tips on how you can avoid them below.

1. Weak Passwords

Using the same password for multiple accounts or using a weak password that is easy to guess can have serious consequences. Keep accounts, emails, and devices safe by implementing the following tips:

• Implement a company policy requiring employees to change passwords at regular intervals such as once every 3 months.

• Use long passwords. The longer the password, the better. Industry standards recommend 14 or more characters.

• A passphrase can help you remember your password easier. Utilize words and symbols from a phrase you know. For example, “I love apple pie and walking on the beach” becomes “iLOVEap&w4lk1ng0nTHEbeach!”

• When available, be sure to enable multi-factor authentication. Contact your email provider for information.

2. Not Keeping Software Updated

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog about how small businesses can ensure the data privacy of their customers, hackers are constantly changing their tactics and finding new ways to carry out cyberattacks. And with technology continuously evolving, you need to make sure your company:

• Is always running the latest version of antivirus and cybersecurity software.

• Has automatic updates enabled.

• Keeps firmware updated for wireless routers, printers, and other devices.

3. Untrained Employees

Educating your employees is crucial in preventing cyberattacks on your business. A recent study found that negligent workers cause more than half (60%) of cybersecurity incidents like having credentials stolen. You can help your company avoid these threats by:

• Having a clearly defined password policy that prohibits employees from reusing the same password on multiple accounts, requires frequent password changes, and doesn’t allow for sharing passwords.

• Implementing cybersecurity training for your team that will help them learn how to recognize potential threats and emails that are suspicious. Understanding and identifying possible risks as well as learning how to prevent those issues will go a long way in keeping your company protected from attacks.

4. Not Backing Up Your Data

If you don’t back up your data, you’ll have no way to recover lost contacts, emails, and other data in the event of a security breach or even a natural disaster. If you save information on your computer’s desktop or on a mobile device, you risk unrecoverable data loss. Protect your business by:

• Using a cloud storage solution. Cloud storage is affordable and is an effective way to continually back up your data. Plus, it is scalable as your company grows.

• Developing a system to ensure automated regular backups.

• Ensuring data is backed up both on-site and at a secure, off-site location in case of fire or natural disaster.

5. Fraudulent Wire Transfer Requests

Anytime you receive a request to send a wire transfer, be sure to carefully inspect the email for indications of fraud. This is especially important for businesses in the financial industry or those who do frequent wire transactions. Here are a few important things to do to verify the email is legitimate:

• Make sure the sender’s email is spelled EXACTLY as it was before.

• If the transfer information is in a hyperlink, hover over it to make sure it is safe before clicking.

• Check the spelling and grammar of the email. If there are a lot of mistakes, it can indicate fraud.

• Does the wire information make sense? Check the country the bank is located in.

• When replying to an email, make sure the address in the reply bar is exactly the same. Scammers frequently modify an email address slightly making it is harder to detect a small change.

• If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the wire transfer request by calling the person directly.

Need Funding?

Could your business use some cash to help you implement new cybersecurity measures? At SBG Funding, getting access to the capital you need couldn’t be simpler. Apply today or call us at (844) 284–2725 and see what a difference funding can make.

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