Small business owner and entrepreneur should be aware of various cybersecurity threats that could affect their business. You may be unfamiliar with some common internet scams cyber attackers use to target businesses today. Below, some descriptions and tips for how to protect your business.
Email phishing is a relatively popular scam aimed at businesses and individuals alike. The recipient will open an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate institution, only to click on a link that prompts them to input their personal information, which is promptly used to install malware on their device and steal private data. Security Metrics explains that phishing emails often include generic greetings, spelling and grammar mistakes, and unsolicited attachments.
Sometimes, scammers will send businesses fraudulent invoices in hopes that the recipient will pay for the false charge without noticing that the invoice is inauthentic. How can you tell if an invoice is fake, even if it seems like it’s from a legitimate vendor? Armorblox states that the sender might make an unusual request or ask for sensitive personal information. If you receive an unexpected invoice, don’t pay it until you’ve contacted the appropriate vendor directly.
Perhaps you’ve received an email or phone call from someone asking if you would like to pay to include your company in a business directory. You might be naturally interested and wonder if doing so could help you connect with some new customers. But before you pay to add your business, make sure you’re working with a legitimate directory, as collecting money from business owners for their “inclusion” in a fake directory is a scam.
Maybe your company has donated to local charities before, and you love supporting nonprofits in your area that are fighting for causes you believe in. But beware of scammers who may reach out to your business asking for donations to charities that do not actually exist. Before making a donation to any charity, you should thoroughly research the organization and ensure that they actually allocate most of their funds to the cause they support. Your heart may be in the right place, but you don’t want to make donations to scammers—plenty of genuine charities could actually use your support!
Once you’ve identified the most likely threats to your business, you can put together a comprehensive recovery plan so you can improve your cyber security protection and get your operations running efficiently again after an attack. You should note which applications you would have to recover first, define a timeline for getting applications back online, and identify who would need to pitch in for the recovery efforts.
In addition to creating a recovery plan, you’ll need to educate your employees about these cybersecurity issues. Hosting regular cybersecurity training is a good way to keep your team up to date about your protocols and best practices for safe conduct online. If you’re not confident in running cybersecurity training on your own, it may be time to bring an IT specialist onto your team. Conduct interviews to find a specialist who focuses primarily on cybersecurity and ask about their experience in this area.
Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important issue for small business owners and entrepreneurs. By educating yourself about widespread internet scams, you can keep your data safe. With these tips, you’ll be ready to implement cybersecurity protections for your business.
About the Author
Cody McBride is an IT technician and creator of TechDeck.info, where he offers easy-to-understand tech-related advice and troubleshooting tips.