Cyberattacks are a big problem for any business, especially if that business operates online. And not only is this an issue, but it’s a growing one, with the FBI’s research showing that in 2020, the cost of cybercrimes was a staggering $2.7 billion.
Cybercriminals target small businesses especially (although they are not averse to attacking larger ones as well) because they know those small businesses are less likely to have high levels of security, plus they will have information such as customers’ payment details and personal data, which is what a cybercriminal wants.
As a small business owner, it’s crucial that you are aware of what cybercrime is, how a cyberattack can take place, and what risks they pose to your company. One question that is often asked is when are small businesses most at risk for cyberattacks? Read on to find out more about this and how to address the threat.
The Timing Of Cyberattacks
Small businesses are essentially vulnerable to cyberattacks at all times, whether they are brand new or have been trading for a while. However, there are times when a cyberattack is more likely. The first is when a business has just launched. Hackers will be looking out for fledgling companies because they will know that, in many cases, there are no security measures put in place at all. The business owner simply hasn’t thought far enough ahead, and they may even have been so keen to get their company off the ground that they have rushed and bypassed many important safety and security elements. Of course, there won’t be quite so much information for a hacker to obtain at this stage, but they can send in viruses and programs that will send data to them at a later date, making this extremely dangerous.
Another time when small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks is after twelve months. The systems, programs, and software that a business owner purchased and installed a year earlier will now be outdated. Unless these are updated when the need arises, they will be vulnerable to a cyberattack. When a program is superseded by a new version, cybercriminals will bank on the fact that business owners don’t take the time to update their systems. This means that they are much more easily able to hack into them, having had more time to work out how to do so, and untold damage can be done.
What Can Be Done?
Although these are, perhaps, the most vulnerable times for any small business when it comes to lapses in their security systems, the truth is that a cyberattack could happen at any time. This is why it’s so important to know how to prevent them, at least as far as possible. Asking your local IT company in San Diego is always a good resource too.
As we’ve mentioned, one method is keeping all software up to date and installing updates when they become available. Another technique is to ensure that all passwords are strong ones. Training your team to recognize potential security problems and not make things worse by opening suspicious attachments and clicking on unusual links.
As much as technology is something that has made being a business owner possible for many millions of people, it’s also something that can destroy that dream if security is not taken care of; always be on the alert, and you can protect your business in the best way.