When we are representing a brand, we have two primary areas of focus that we prioritize every day.
1. Establish and Protect the Brand.
2. Create a lasting bond between the brand and the public they seek to attract.
Today we would like to focus on the protection of the brand and how it directly affects your bottom line.
With the current state of affairs, small business owners must be conscious of the dangers that their businesses face. As businesses depend more on technology infrastructure and cloud operations, the vulnerabilities of these systems are being exploited by cybercriminals.
While cyberattacks reported in the media mainly focus on large corporations, the reality is small businesses, with fewer resources and less technical expertise, are often seen as easy targets for cyberattacks.
Ransomware is a specific type of malware that infects and restricts access to a computer until some sort of ransom is provided. Ransomware will commonly encrypt data on the victim's device and demand money in return for a promise to restore the data. Ransomware exploits unpatched vulnerabilities in software and is usually delivered through phishing emails.
Most of us have heard about phishing emails for years. Phishing is another type of cyberattack that uses email or a malicious website to infect your computer or system with malware or to collect sensitive information. Phishing emails appear as though they’ve been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often entice users to click on a link or open an attachment containing malicious code. Be very cautious about opening links from unknown sources. If something seems suspicious from a known source, don’t just click on it - ask the source directly if it's legitimate.
Cybercriminals assume that weaker security measures will make small businesses easier to crack than larger enterprises and the statistics seem to support this:
-82% of ransomware attacks in 2021 were against companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.
-In 2020 alone, there were over 700,000 attacks against small businesses, totaling $2.8 billion in damages.
-75% of SMBs could not continue operating if they were hit with ransomware.
-59% of small business owners with no cybersecurity measures in place believe their business is too small to be attacked.
-55% of people in the U.S. would be less likely to continue doing business with companies that are breached.
For most small businesses, just one cyberattack could mean losses and damages that are irrecoverable. To combat the threat of a cyberattack, consider taking these simple actions to beef up your cybersecurity:
-Use security software.
-Train your employees.
-Practice good login/password techniques.
-Keep your systems up to date.
-Restrict access to sensitive data
Make sure your company has a policy in place for the steps to be taken should an employee’s computer become infected with a virus. Train your employees to be able to recognize fake antivirus warning messages. Malware is a sneaky program that can obtain information by making its way onto devices via the Internet, social media, email, attachments, and downloads. For example, key-logging malware can track everything the user types on their keyboard. This means cybercriminals could access bank accounts, customer information, passwords, and other company-sensitive information. Make sure to keep your security software up-to-date to help prevent malware from sneaking onto your system and networks.
As threats continue to evolve, so will ways to combat them. It’s clear that developing and implementing a cybersecurity strategy is far from a straightforward task. But with the combination of reliable systems, clearly defined processes, training, and strong compliance techniques you can keep your company safe from those who wish it harm.
If you have questions or concers about your brand's safety, Mango Media offers free consultations.