Staying Safe in Times of Cyber Uncertainty

Small Business Cyber Security in 2022

The cyber threat landscape is rapidly growing and evolving, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly a target. In fact, over half of SMBs have suffered a cyberattack within the last year.

In the modern cyber threat landscape, any company can be the target of a cyberattack. This makes it extremely difficult for SMBs to focus on what matters most – which is keeping their business alive and thriving. The average SMB simply isn’t built to take on a cyberattack, and will likely have a hard time recuperating from its loss in the unfortunate event of a successful attack.

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Small Business Cyber Security in 2022

The Top 3 Cyber Threats for SMBs in 2022

SMBs can be attacked in various ways, but some cybersecurity risks are greater than others. Some of the biggest cyber threats that SMBs face are phishing, password loss, and ransomware.

#1. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are some of the most devastating cyber threats that a company can face. A phishing email is relatively easy and inexpensive for a cybercriminal to create and has the potential to deploy malware or steal sensitive information from an organization.

Phishing campaigns are easily scalable, making it possible for phishers to target a wide range of organizations in their attacks. If a phishing message succeeds — when a user clicks on a link or opens an attachment — the attacker has sensitive data or a foothold on the victim’s network that they can use for future attacks.

#2. Password Loss

In theory, passwords provide a means to verify the identity of a user before granting access to corporate systems or online accounts. In practice, people commonly use weak passwords, reuse passwords across multiple accounts, or accidentally reveal their passwords to phishers.

Weak and reused passwords are easy for an attacker to exploit. With a list of usernames — often email addresses — and commonly reused or breached passwords, an attacker can automate the process of testing these passwords against different online services or corporate systems. If they find a match, the attacker now has legitimate access to the user’s account with all of the privileges granted to that user.

#3. Ransomware

Ransomware has emerged as one of the most common and expensive cyber threats. If an attacker can deploy malware to an organization’s systems — via phishing, compromised passwords, or other means — that malware can encrypt vital business data or render critical systems inoperable.

What Are Some Best Practices that Small Businesses Can Implement in 2022?

SMBs face numerous cyber threats. Some best practices that businesses can implement to reduce their cyber risk include:

  • Avoid Common Passwords: Weak, common, and reused passwords are easy to remember, but they’re also easy for attackers to guess. Enforce a password policy that requires long, random, unique passwords.
  • Secure the Entire Attack Surface: Cybercriminals will look for any gap in a company’s defenses to exploit. Know what is connected to your network and limit access to authorized users.
  • Implement Network Segmentation: Once inside a company’s network, an attacker will likely move laterally to access critical systems and sensitive data. Segmenting your network into zones based on business needs can help to prevent this lateral movement.
  • Enforce Your Security Policy: Every company should have a security policy, and this policy must be enforced to be effective. Educate employees about the policy and monitor for violations.
  • Monitor Social Media: Social media can be a goldmine of information for attackers looking to perform spear phishing and other attacks. Monitor social media for sensitive information and train employees on its risks.
  • Encrypt Sensitive Data: Every business has sensitive information that could be costly if exposed, such as intellectual property and customer data. All sensitive data should be encrypted, and it should be easy for employees to do so.
  • Keep Systems Up-to-Date: Cybercriminals commonly exploit unpatched vulnerabilities and out-of-date defenses in their attacks. Installing patches and keeping systems updated is essential to protecting them against attack.
  • Secure the Cloud: Cloud computing can provide significant business benefits, but unsecured cloud deployments also create security risks. SMBs should think twice about moving data and applications to the cloud, and ensure that cloud-based infrastructure is properly configured and secured beforehand.
  • Limit Access and Privileges: Not every employee needs administrative access to their computer, especially when a simple mistake can result in a ransomware infection or data breach. Limit employees to user-level accounts to reduce the impact if an attacker guesses or learns their password.
  • Create BYOD Rules: Allowing employees to work from personal devices can boost productivity and morale. However, it’s also important to lay down ground rules in a BYOD policy to ensure that corporate security policies are followed and enforced.

Implementing Small Business Cyber Security With Check Point

Small businesses face different cyber threats than the average large enterprise. Learn more about the cyber risks that your company should be thinking about in Check Point’s 2021 SMB Security Report. To address these threats, SMBs need cybersecurity solutions that are designed for them, and the endpoint is a great place to start. In this report, IDC MarketScape highlights the capabilities that SMBs need and where to find them.

Check Point has developed security solutions tailored specifically to the unique needs of the SMB. Learn more about how you can protect your organization with Check Point with a free demo of Check Point’s Quantum Spark SMB Security Gateway.

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