How Small Businesses Get Hacked and How to Defend Your Business

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When thinking of a cyberattack, many people picture a person dressed in all black, sitting behind numerous computer screens in a darkly lit room. However, this does not necessarily reflect the reality of how cybercriminals choose targets and execute attacks. While for most people misunderstanding how a cyberattack works won’t impact their livelihood, small business owners could put their company and client information in jeopardy if they aren’t prepared. So what are the steps cyber criminals take to attack a small business? And what do you need to know to better secure your business from those attacks?

How Hackers Target Your Business

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When targeting businesses for an attack, malicious actors look first and foremost for the low hanging fruit. A business that does not stay on top of security updates or has poor password protection can easily become the victim of a cyber attack because a hacker does not need to put much effort into infiltrating their environment. In addition to this, if staff are not trained well on identifying phishing emails, then they may click a malicious link and give their credentials to an attacker. A lot of malicious actors will comb through long lists of potential victims or send out a massive number of phishing emails hoping for a response.

A Malicious Actor’s Plan of Attack

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What’s important to remember is that your business may be targeted because a service you have signed up for had a data breach, and your information got leaked. Attackers do not need to single you out if you are just another name on a list.

Once launched, attacks can be easily identifiable such as a poorly crafted phishing email full of grammar mistakes, or they can be specially crafted campaigns that try to disguise themselves as vendors or coworkers you already work with. In the worst-case scenario, malicious actors could access your information without your knowledge and steal crucial data or hold it for ransom.

How Hackers Takeover More of Your Environment

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As soon as a threat actor has infiltrated your network, the malware they infect your system with can spread to other devices, and they will send messages to clients and other accounts with malicious links to leverage the trust others have in you. Often, malicious actors will use what they learn about your environment from the first successful attack to stage others, and if multiple machines on your network have the same security flaw, then they will takeover as many devices as they can.

Defending Against Cyberattacks

While a successful cyber attack on your business can be a worrying prospect, the best way to deter hackers is with a strong defense. Having layers of security in place will make it more difficult for malicious actors to infiltrate your IT environment and do damage. Robinett Consulting recommends multi-factor authentication, phishing prevention training, and strong end point protection as a few great options to lower the chances of your business falling victim to a cyberattack. However, every business is different, and if you want to know the most reliable and affordable security options for you, then we want to get to know your business and work with you as your IT partner!