As an increasing number of businesses move towards an online future, a lot of small business owners are being forced to integrate better cyber security practices. They are starting to have to make adjustments to better protect themselves from the increasing risk of cyber-attacks.

Senseon walked us through what cyber security is and some of the more common attacks to prepare for. She even gave some of her best tips to effectively boost the cyber security of your business.

This will be a guide that takes you through basic steps to assist you in strengthening your cyber security practices for now and in the future.

What Is It?

To boost cyber security, you need to put some actions into place to better protect your business and its systems from potential attackers. A cyber-attack can be a broadly encompassing term that describes any attempt by a criminal to extract, damage or destroy a network or system. Senseon.io provides an accurate result in which security observations are automatically generated by the system-related observations from the events and behaviours of users and devices.

A hacker may attempt to gain unauthorized entry into your network or system to steal data and other important information. This includes customers’ personal information, credit cards, and more. They also may steal and encrypt your data and force you to pay a “ransom” to get the data back and unencrypted. There are certain things you can do to better protect your business from an attack. Also, some of these tips will help you reduce the damages that occur if you are a victim of an attack.

Different Types of Cyber Attacks:

1. Targeted Attacks

A targeted attack is primarily designed to attack a specific individual or a group. An example of this would be a government agency.

2. Non-targeted Attacks

An attack that is deemed non-targeted is launched on numerous individuals or groups of people in the hopes that a few of them are successful. These are the most common types of attacks and they typically go for the lowest hanging fruit. A lot of criminals will look to exploit unsuspecting employees and other individuals to try to gain access to an account or system. For example, they will launch a phishing email campaign that tricks users into giving out their credentials.

Know How Cybercriminals Operate

A lot of cybercriminals will operate in the same way. The majority of them try to play on the emotions of people and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access. There are all kinds of emotions that they will try to exploit to launch a cyberattack. These include:

1. Greed

This is typically one of the more common ways cybercriminals look to exploit human emotion. You will find a lot of different phishing attempts that prey on those who are greedy. For instance, a campaign that says “Congrats, you are a winner! Click here for a free iPad from Apple!” While it may seem unbelievable to most, those who are greedy may want that iPad and convince themselves it’s true. This can lead to them clicking on the email and entering their Apple credentials or giving out their address and credit card information.

2. Curiosity

A lot of people are simply curious. They love to click on links to see where they lead. A lot of hackers try to prey on curious individuals and get them to click on things that are labelled incorrectly or as something interesting. A lot of deceptive ads are to play into one’s curiosity. They will have users click to watch a video but lead to something else.

3. Urgency

This is another major emotion that a lot of cybercriminals will look to exploit. They will typically try to create some sort of sense of urgency by sending out emails saying you need to update your card on file. This could be with any business. This will have the user redirected to a fake billing site where their credit card information will be logged and stolen.

4. Helpfulness

This is another way hackers look to exploit human emotion. They will try to seem friendly and ask for help. A lot of people have an instinctive nature to help someone in need. This can result in them being over trusting and giving them important information, they shouldn’t have.

5. Fear

A lot of hackers will look to use fear as a motivation factor. They know that fear can make reasonable people do unreasonable things. It can even make people act on impulse. The more they can get someone to act on impulse, the greater the chances they make a mistake or miss something obvious. You’ll oftentimes find hacking attempts like email that say, “your account has been compromised, if you didn’t change your password click here to update it.” This will lead to a phishing site that looks like the real deal.

Once you change your password, they will gain access to the account. Whenever you find yourself in these situations, you always want to type in the URL yourself in your browser. Go directly to your bank or whatever business and log in yourself. Never login directly through an email as a best practice. This can help you avoid a lot of phishing attempts right out the gate.

How Does Cyber Security Apply to A Small Business?

Small businesses need to engage in cyber security best practices for many reasons. These criminals have become increasingly sophisticated. Also, with everything being done online, it’s become more and more important to protect not only your business but your customer’s data.

The total cost of cybercrime has become enormous. More and more businesses are getting exploited. The total economic cost of cyber-attacks in 2021 alone exceeded €9.6 billion. Cyber-attacks have become so profitable for hackers as more and more people conduct business online.

Unfortunately, the majority of the cyber-attacks occurring are being targeted at small businesses. What’s worse, the majority of these businesses aren’t set up for optimal protection. This can make a small business especially vulnerable to getting attacked.

The majority of small businesses use unsophisticated security systems and practices that can make them easy targets. For instance, a lot of businesses don’t have access to IT professionals or cyber security professionals. This means they don’t have dedicated employees working around the clock to ensure the organization is doing everything it can to protect its systems and data. These criminals can actively target a small business in numerous ways. Some of the more common methods are phishing attempts to access banking credentials or to gain access to their customer’s sensitive data.