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  • Writer's pictureRic Armstrong

Cybersecurity Issues Most Small Businesses Face

Data breach. Cyber threats. Insider Attacks. These cybersecurity issues continue to plague businesses, big and small. While big companies usually have the necessary protection, small businesses are usually not so lucky. Often, their capacity is limited, specifically money-wise. Lawsuits can be expensive and they cannot afford to pay for damages. And this is the reason why hackers commonly target small businesses - they are easy to penetrate. One way of protecting against these threat actors is to identify the common cybersecurity issues. Here are some of them: 

Phishing Attacks

One of the oldest yet most effective cyber threats that continues to affect businesses are phishing attacks. As much as 90% of all data breaches are phishing. It costs businesses as much as US$12 million in losses. Phishing attacks are often successful because the perpetrators use social engineering tactics to lure victims into clicking on a malicious attachment or downloading a suspicious file. Often, hackers are successful in getting their personally identifiable information (PII) that they can use to obtain sensitive information for their gain. 

While phishing attacks are an age-old tactic, they became sophisticated over the years, making attackers quite successful in luring their victims. 

Malware Attacks

Most small businesses have struggled against malware attacks where they have to battle against viruses. Malware stands for malicious software, in which attackers either steal confidential data or cause data destruction. Malware attacks can be costly to deal with. Often, organizations have to carry out expensive repairs or replace lost files. Malware can attack via a malvertisement, website download, or malicious email attachments. Robust security defenses must be in place to prevent malware attacks, 


One of the most crippling cybersecurity issues that can affect small businesses is ransomware. When affected with ransomware, an organization may lose control of its network, devices, or files. The only way they can reclaim control is when they pay up the ransom that the hackers demand. In this case, small businesses often have no choice but to pay up. Hackers know that targeting small companies will bring them money because these establishments do not have a backup of their essential details necessary for running their business. 

Insider Threats

Small businesses are also often victimized by insider threats, especially when they are on their way up. These cyber threats often stem from a malicious deed carried out by a former employee or associate. This can happen if the organization does not have protocol in place for when any of its employees or associates stop being part of the company and still have access to sensitive information. As an act of revenge, these employees and associates can use this access to sabotage business operations.

Cyber Espionage

It is also pretty common for cyber actors to target small businesses as an act of defiance against a government or institution. There have been instances when threat actors would deface a website to announce their message. They often do this to rally support for their particular cause, to simply send a message of disgust, or as a means to show their protest. 

Cyber threats will continue to occur, and they will target not only big businesses but also small ones. In the years to come, more attacks will happen as more and more people go online. For this reason, organizations must ensure that they are covered for cybersecurity breaches, so they never have to worry about any of these threats ever crippling their business operations. 

Security experts must always be two steps ahead of attackers, and one way to ensure this is to identify and understand a hacker's threat behavior and vector. 

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