The loss of consumer purchasing power appears to have been accompanied by an increase in targeted cyberattacks in recent months as small businesses brace for a widespread cost-of-living crisis. With news that small businesses are three times more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals than their more established counterparts, this article explores how a lighter workforce can fight back.
In a recent Forbes article, Edward Segal noted that between January 2021 and December 2021, researchers at cloud-based security firm Barracuda Networks found that employees of small businesses with fewer than 100 employees suffered social engineering 350% more attacks than their employees. larger corporate counterparts.
Security firm Purplesec’s 2022 Cybersecurity Insights results show that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, while 70 percent are unprepared for cyberattacks.
(picture: Consultant Smith)
Additionally, 42% of small businesses experienced some form of cybersecurity attack in the previous year, with 69% expressing concern about an attack in the next 12 months, according to AdvisorSmith.
With 72% of small businesses implementing measures to limit the impact of security breaches, companies must be familiar with their options to ensure they have the best chance of keeping their websites running smoothly and keeping customers safe from security breaches.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some website hosting points that can help ensure small business owners protect their companies from online harm:
Mitigate the impact of cross-site scripting
According to a study by Precise Security, cross-site scripting (XSS) is the most common form of cyber-attack, accounting for 40 percent of all attacks. Although XSS happens quite frequently, they are usually easy to combat – provided the business has a well-functioning website.
Cross-site scripting works against the users of the site, not the web application itself. Here, cybercriminals insert code into an unsecured website, which is then run by visitors – potentially compromising their accounts to activate Trojan horses or modifying content to cause them to give up personal information.
For businesses, the risks posed by XSS can be dangerous – especially from a reputational standpoint, where customer trust can be compromised.
Fortunately, most websites can protect themselves from XSS attacks by setting up a Web Application Firewall (WAF). This acts as a filter, immediately blocking malicious requests from broken code. For most businesses, WAF should come standard with web hosting companies, but it’s worth checking to make sure it’s included in the package.
The importance of protecting your data
Another important factor to consider is data protection. Since a data breach can cause significant disruption to an online business, one of the most important strategies is to give data backup and encryption the attention it deserves.
This means that even if a company’s sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can remain safe.
To do this, encrypt and back up sensitive data, including private customer information, employee information, and all other forms of fundamentally confidential data.
Likewise, the importance of utilizing backups to protect your data extends to your website content itself, and businesses can greatly benefit from finding a WordPress host that offers daily website backups as part of their hosting package.
Phishing can be one of the most significant dangers facing small businesses. According to Expert Insights, phishing attacks have grown by 65% over the past year, while costing more than $12 billion.
These attacks occur when cybercriminals trick users into clicking malicious links or downloading malicious files or voluntarily giving up their information, banking details or credentials.
Phishing has become more sophisticated recently, with many attacks effectively replicating close contacts or impersonating trusted organizations for sensitive information. For small businesses, the rise of business email breaches, in which attackers trick employees or executives into giving up their business account passwords, has been especially damaging.
Furthermore, they can be difficult to address efficiently. However, a number of steps can be taken to provide the best chance of successfully combating such threats.
Notably, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an important measure to limit the risk of phishing. MFA adds a layer of security to the authentication process when someone tries to access the account. This process may require adding verification at any time or when an individual attempts to log in from an unknown device.
If your business involves any exchange of sensitive data, payment information, or other forms of confidential data, you must add measures such as MFA to your website to prevent phishing attacks.
While cyberattacks are a trend that continues to affect small businesses, there are many things that can be done to provide the best opportunities for online security. With this in mind, it may be worth reviewing your web hosting package and the accessibility of basic security measures on your pages. Ultimately, investing time and effort in supporting your website today can help avoid reputational and financial damage later.