Today, no business whether small or big can be counted as safe from security breaches. Although renowned companies are targets for hackers, small businesses are also likely to face security threats. It is, therefore, advisable to remain alert and keep yourself updated about concerning business security methods. So, this article is dedicated to small business security issues and how to avoid them.

According to experts, small businesses are increasingly becoming victims of data breaching. These conditions normally arise because they are not up to date with the latest security modifications in the field. An infographic from the Avast shows that nearly 60 percent of all security breaches target small businesses and almost half of all the small businesses have experienced these attacks. From reduced customers to destroyed brand image, increased expenses to reduced revenues, these attacks can have irrevocable consequences hence no one wants to deal with them. Thankfully, with enough information, you can take action and implement some of the best preventive measures.

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Here are some small business security issues

Lack of training

It is obvious that a major cause of data breaches is the staff. It can be attributed to the lack of awareness amongst staff regarding data security. Since most employees do not understand how hackers operate, they make innocent mistakes. Educating your employees about this will prove to be an added security for your SMBs.

For instance, before giving out any information about the company, someone must teach employees to carefully check the legitimacy of the source. They should also desist from opening attachments originating from unknown people. In addition, a data security expert, the one who is an AWS cloud certified professional, should be hired to train the staff and monitor the company’s data resources.

 Non updated systems

Failure to update your system may also lead to security issues. Most of us do not like to waste time installing the software updates, updating is something that we often overlook. But, you have to keep your software relevant and your machine virus-free.

Having the updated and the latest version of security software, browser, and operating systems are some of the best defenses against malware, viruses, and other online threats. After each update, it’s very important to set anti-virus software to run and check whether your machine is up to date. More so, as soon as the key software is available, install it immediately. But refrain from skipping the terms and conditions first. Also, do not allow the installation of additional software during the updates.

Weak passwords

Although, it is rather common advice to have your passwords hardened and as unique & unguessable as possible. Still, webmasters tend to overlook this security measure. Passwords like your own name, the word “password”, “123456789”, etc are too weak passwords. Avoiding them would take you one step closer to the impenetrable security of your online business. 

Unpatched devices

Think of all the software and hardware that your small business uses that may present an invitation to gain entry. According to Boutnaru, co-founder & CTO, CyActive these include network devices such as printers, servers, and routers that may present in their operation yet either their hardware was not designed to enable them to be updated or vulnerability in them was not yet sent or created. This leaves you with an exploitable device waiting for attackers to gain access to your data.

Access of computers by non-authorized persons

The best way to protect your small business is to create a non-user account for each employee. This will help protect your business computer. It’s also important to minimize the network access for computers in or around your area of operation. 

Failure to encrypt your data

We are living in an era of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), mobile, and Big Data and with the amount of information being exchanged today, there are several opportunities for hackers to intercept and accept your company’s data. Authenticating and encrypting your data will help you put a roadblock in front of the hackers. Failure to use things such as 2 Factor Authentication or 2FA can be disastrous.

For instance, some years back one tech journalist suffered a major data hack in which hackers got into his Google and Twitter accounts and deleted some of the most important files that he didn’t back up. As a business owner, it’s therefore, very important to encrypt your data.

Lack of mobile security

In case your employee uses mobile devices to access the company data while at work or out of work then it’s obvious that your business confidentiality is vulnerable. Most small companies encourage their employees to use their own devices while at work eventually increasing the exposure to malware and many other issues related to security. You, therefore, need to avoid accessing the company’s data on a personal device and to only access it using the official device that is equipped with Cybersecurity tools.

Employees at odds

Believe or not but a disgruntled employee can be a real security threat. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest threats facing small businesses is the internal attack. Rogue employees especially the members of the IT team with knowledge of and access to data centers, networks, and administration accounts can cause very serious damage.

Small businesses should perform a background check on the prospective employees to check out if they have any criminal history. Doing this should be standard practice to ensure that there is no threat to the business.

Wrapping up

While many companies, especially small businesses are not much concerned about their website security, the data clearly shows the risk they are taking. It is, therefore advisable strongly to invest in your security well in advance and avoid any serious compromise with your website. While this is a preliminary list, it should also be told that it is not exhaustive. This is the basic security which could not be skipped anyhow.

Astra Web Security is an all in one security solution tailored for SMBs. Astra provides continuous and comprehensive monitoring system with its efficient Firewall and Malware scanner. The firewall blocks SQLi, XSS, CSRF & 100+ other coming attacks on your website. Further, security audits by Astra ensure that every vulnerability in your website is uncovered and your website is in compliance with the best security practices.
How Astra Web Application Firewall protects your WordPress website
How Astra Web Application Firewall protects your WordPress website

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About The Author

Neal Davis

Neal has been working in IT for over 20 years in a variety of roles ranging from support to architecture. He currently works for a Fortune 500 company as an Enterprise Solutions Architect designing Hybrid IT and Digital Transformation solutions. He is also a trainer at Digital Cloud Training.

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