Simple Checklist for Beefing Up Security in Your SME

Simple Checklist for Beefing Up Security in Your SME

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses in the SME space think that they don’t need to be concerned with incorporating cyber security into their operations. This is simply because they are under the impression that their businesses are too small to attract any attention from hackers. They feel like they don’t make enough money for hackers to pursue their businesses. WRONG.

The fact is that SMEs are extremely valuable to hack primarily because they often don’t have the resources, manpower or time to apply solid security measures. Enterprise level solutions are often cost-inhibited for small organisations.

In case an SME is contracted with a bigger company, chances are if your SME’s security is inefficient, hackers will be able to infiltrate the larger company by leveraging vulnerabilities in yours. By the fact that small business owners are not prepared for any security challenge, it will put the owners at a serious disadvantage when they experience a security breach attempt.

In order to recover from a breach, preparation is crucial and the level of your preparation will determine how your business will survive in the aftermath. Large companies still spend millions of dollars on security and at times, they still get attacked.

Which Are The Attacks Hackers Use On SMEs?

There are various methods of attacks that hackers use to gain access to small businesses and new ones emerge every day. The ones one should keep on are

  1. Social Engineering

Social Engineering involves gathering information about a subject on various channels. The strategies involve engaging with the target in person or over the phone to try and finesse the target into divulging personal information or corporate secrets. More modern tactics involve studying the target’s social media profile.

If you’re on social media, you should assume you have too much information about your stuff on your profile and if you don’t have privacy settings established, it’s easy for hackers to gather information about you. They can use pet names, nick names, children’s names, addresses, sports teams, destinations, musical artists, or any helpful information to figure out your passwords.

There are tools that can be used to use some words or phrases to crack your password. Therefore, your password management practices have to be solid to protect you from such attacks.

  1. Phishing Attack

Phishing/spear-phishing, just like the name suggests, typically involves sending out fake emails from what resembles a legitimate source. These emails tell recipients to update their passwords or give out any personal information by clicking a link embedded in the email.

The link can have a subtle change that distinguishes the malicious link from a legit one, or appear as the actual link. However, when you hover on the link, it will have a different web address. To avoid this, ensure your username is not the same as your actual name, company name, or social media aliases. Passwords are usually one of the easiest ways into a system and the username is not that difficult to figure out.

  1. SQL Injection

SQL injections basically involves the attacker gaining unauthorised access to your databases through input fields on your website. For example, in case you have a username for your users, the attacker can use SQL statements to get access to one or more user accounts without the actual username or password.

Hackers can easily hack poorly secured databases as they can change the username and password, after which you will not have access to log into your own account.

Another way they can get into your website is through outdated plugins, themes, or versions. You have to make sure you conduct your upgrades as soon as you have been notified to do so.

  1. Cloud Computing Attacks

The new wave seems to be heading towards cloud-based computing as more businesses seek IT services to reduce running costs. Even though cloud computing has its perks, there is still a lot of vulnerability from inside and outside attacks.

The key cloud computing vulnerabilities are through; Data threats, API susceptibilities, bad insiders, shared technology vulnerabilities, third-party provider lock-ins, and weak cryptography and vulnerable cloud services.

The only way to ensure cloud-based security solutions is by enhancing better security policies, using stronger authentication/passwords, put strong measures on accessibility, use high-encrypted transfer and storage, build intrusion detection systems, installing secure APIs, and minimising handlers.