Did you know that as many as 75% of small businesses do not have the expertise or capabilities to deal with a cybersecurity attack?

This is despite the fact that since the pandemic, not only is cybercrime on the rise, but cybercriminals are more sophisticated in their methods than ever before.

Keep reading to find out more about why small businesses are ill-prepared for online security threats. Plus, what are the most common cyber-attacks on small businesses, and how can you avoid them?

What is cyber security “alert fatigue”?

A recent survey by security operations company Arctic Wolf revealed that almost two-fifths of small business owners felt overwhelmed by the volume of security threats their company received, with some receiving up to 75 alerts a day.

This “alert fatigue” means that many businesses fail to act on essential warnings and leave their business vulnerable to attacks.

What are the most common online security threats for SMEs?

According to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the most common cyber attacks experienced by small and medium-sized businesses are:

  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Malicious insiders
  • Denial-of-service strikes

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected cyber-attacks on SMEs?

Since the pandemic, small businesses are more at risk of cyber-attacks than ever before. A combination of an increase in remote working and increased use of contactless payment methods have given cybercriminals new opportunities to access your data.

In fact, according to Verizon’s 2021 data breach investigation report, 22% of small and medium-sized businesses have suffered a data breach due to remote working since the pandemic began.

How can I protect my business from security threats?

One of the best ways to protect your business from cyber-attacks is to ensure your IT company is competent in cyber security. While many small business owners may not have the time or expertise to take cyber-crime seriously, a good IT company will know exactly what to do to safeguard your business.

They will:

  • Install software updates as soon as they are available
  • Back up your data in a safe place
  • Stay alert at all times and be up-to-date with all the latest security threats and techniques.
  • Advise you on how you can best protect your business

If you are currently taking care of your IT in-house, a fully managed IT services company can help you with all your IT needs and ensure that your business is fully protected against the latest cyber threats.

Other ways in which you can protect your small business from cyber-attacks include:

  • Carry out regular in-house cyber security training so that your employees are aware of the latest scams and know how to protect your data.
  • Do background checks on employees. This can help prevent malicious insider attacks.
  • Limit the number of employees that have access to your sensitive data.
  • Have data breach prevention tools in place, such as intrusion detection.
  • Take out business insurance that has coverage designed to address cyber risks.
  • Know your data inside and out. For example, how much data you have and where it is stored.

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