It has forced many small business owners to move quickly to online ordering and eCommerce. They have also had to offer pickup and delivery. Moving online has proven to be a great success for many businesses. It’s also been a lifeline.
Online business has brought new threats to small businesses they may have yet to be aware of. Clover devices can help a mainly in-person company stay secure and keep transactions safe. Doing business online can introduce multiple points of vulnerability.
You may only know some cyber threats that small businesses face if you are used to conducting your business in person. Cyber-attacks against small companies can be very damaging. While attacks and hacks on large corporations make the news, they are more common. According to Verizon and an insurance company, as many as 43% of all cyber-attacks are directed at small businesses. And 71% of ransomware is targeted by Beazley. Accenture estimates that the average breach costs $200,000. This is a price tag no small business can afford. Accenture reports that only 14% of small businesses are ready to handle a cyberattack.
Small businesses are most at risk from cyber-attacks
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the biggest threat to small businesses is the rapid shift towards ecommerce. Customers love doing business online, and the demand for online services will likely grow. The more you move your business online, the greater the vulnerability and the likelihood that bad actors will be able to access information about your company or customers.
The following are some of the most critical threats that small businesses need to be aware of:
1. Malware. Malware is malicious software that steals data and infects your computer. Phishing attacks spread malware. This occurs when someone with access to your network clicks on a nasty hyperlink or downloads infected software.
2. Ransomware. Ransomware, or malware, is a type of malware that, upon downloading, encrypts data. The hackers behind the attack may then demand a ransom to decrypt the files or stop them from publishing sensitive data.
3. Keylogging software. This type of malware tracks all your activities on your computer. It can also log passwords, giving hackers access to sensitive account information.
4. Card testing. Criminals with access to credit card numbers must test them to determine which cards will work. The criminals will target a site and make thousands of small purchases for $1 or less. The cards are still “live” and can be used to make larger purchases until the fraud is detected. Even if the transactions are small, payment processing fees can add up quickly to thousands of dollars.
Small businesses need to adopt a cybersecurity strategy.
Firstly, any small business must ensure its website, router, and online presence remain up-to-date and protected. It is necessary to keep up with the latest software patches and updates. Take your time.
It is essential to educate and train employees. You must be cautious and follow best practices as a small business owner. Any employee with access to your data and accounts is also a vulnerability. They must learn to protect themselves and not fall for phishing or malware.
Small businesses need to be vigilant about their social media accounts. Criminals may “spoof” or copy your online presence to trick your customers into divulging sensitive information. You should ensure that your logins are secure and be on the lookout for fake accounts.
If you want to protect your eCommerce website from card testing, talk to your payment provider (if it’s Clover, we are). Make sure that they have installed velocity controls. It means your site will not accept more than a specific number of transactions from the same IP within a specified time frame. This will quickly stop anyone trying to run thousands of credit cards through your website.
Small businesses should also have a policy on cybersecurity that includes a plan of action if an attack occurs. You’ll feel overwhelmed and anxious if you are the victim of a cyber attack. A clearly defined response plan can help you maintain your composure.
The following should be included in a good response plan:
- As a small business owner, you need to ensure that your employees know the importance of alerting you immediately if they suspect any fraud or breach.
- You are notifying card companies so that you can protect customers.
- You are notifying your customers and explaining how you will protect them.
- Investigating the cause of the breach will help you learn from the experience and improve your security in the future.