Protecting Mobile Internet: Cyber Attacks Against Small Businesses Are On The Rise
The Department Of Homeland Security recently spoke to media outlets about the rise of cyber attacks against small businesses. While ransomware and other cyber attacks may feel like something only government agencies deal with, the reality is small businesses are one of the primary targets.
“At the end of the day, we are all potentially vulnerable. The days of only being worried about large organizations are gone,” Natarajan said. “We are seeing phishing attempts, ransomware against small local governments, small businesses and medium-size businesses around the nation.”Nitin Natarajan, deputy director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security
Why you may ask? They are often the least prepared to prevent or deal with an attack if it happens. And cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated. In fact, AdvisorSmith recently reported 42% of Small Businesses were attacked. That likely means its a question of when, not if.
The good news is, awareness is high. AdvisorSmith also noted 69% of small businesses were concerned about cyber attacks. That’s the first step. But what can you actually do about preventing cyber attacks.
- Phishing Emails Remain the #1 Approach: Be very careful about the links you click in emails. Verify the domain names are correct, are properly secured.
- Do not open attachments you were not expecting.
- Use a security or VPN service, even when using a cellular hotspot. Hotspots can help secure mobile internet and make it harder for hackers to gain access to your systems even if they obtain a password via phishing.
- Avoid using public internet connections and WIFi, particularly when access sensitive data and materials.
- Make sure you have backups of critical data and systems. Make sure your backups are stored separately from your mainline services and use different passwords. An example, if you get email from Microsoft Office 365, don’t store your backups on OneDrive. Use a different service with a different password.
- Use Two Factor Authentication when possible.
Securing a mobile business is not that different than securing a stationary business. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the assumption that mobile internet using cellular hotspots are automatically “secure”. While they may be less risky than using publicly WiFi, substantial risks remain. And cyber attacks are getting more and more sophisticated.