Factors that Increase Small Business Security Vulnerabilities
Hackers can leverage system vulnerabilities to support unauthorized access, exfiltrate compromised data, install malware, modify existing files, take over control of systems, or launch a denial-of-service attack. Security vulnerabilities offer an entryway for hackers to perform different types of attacks that can affect the productivity, profits, vendor partnerships, customer relationships, and reputation of a company. The following are factors that make small businesses more vulnerable:
Points of Entry
Cybercriminals will assess targets to determine a point of entry. Often, a malicious party could gain access to a network for weeks or months before they cause any harm. Once they identify a point of entry, they will exploit it and wait for an opportunity to perform their crime. Points of entry include local wireless networks, mobile networks, IoT devices, and cloud environments.
Business owners must keep their externally facing systems secure. Even the cloud is an area of risk since a lot of people believed that remote software and storage is more secure than local assets. Sure, the cloud offers extra security; however, businesses must configure their environment to make sure unauthorized access is not possible.
A business might be using the latest technology; however, their systems might lack maintenance and updates. Hackers and malicious software can take advantage of businesses that don’t have reliable IT departments. They can exploit unpatched operating systems, outdated antivirus and spyware definitions, misconfigured firewalls, as well as unsecured networks. An organization with more technologies in use has an increased risk of attacks. Without in-house resources, business owners can leverage the expertise of a managed IT service to eradicate their vulnerabilities.
Hackers use phishing emails to gain access to business networks and data. They infect email attachments with viruses and malware and entice users to download them. Also, hackers may include suspicious links in their emails that seem to come from legitimate sources. To fight this vulnerability, organizations must include email security in their IT strategy. Also, they must invest in employee training and awareness.
To address security vulnerabilities, businesses must pay attention to current security research. Then, they must leverage the insights for the benefit of the organization. Also, they must be aware of updates and patches that vendors release. To keep up with updates, security teams must prioritize them based on the severity of the patched problem, vulnerabilities that affect the company’s key software, and patches for vulnerabilities that hackers are currently using to launch attacks.