06/21/2022

Cybersecurity for Beginners: How To Defend Against Cyber Attacks

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According to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report 791.790 businesses reported cyberattacks during 2018, an increase of 69% over 2019.

Security is a growing concern for small business owners. Cross-site scripting is where hackers insert code into nonsecure website components. Phishing attacks are designed to target group email accounts and malicious malware with hidden files links. Small business owners must be familiar with cybersecurity basics. They must be able to protect their systems from data breaches in every aspect of their day, including when they create a website or set up a private network.

What’s cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the protection of sensitive information online. 

On March 1, 2022, Joe Biden signed the Strengthening America Cybersecurity Act. It was intended to strengthen federal defense systems and unify federal agencies. This agency is designed to manage and reduce risk.

Hackers are getting more sophisticated with each passing day. Your company can reduce hackers’ vulnerability by creating strong cybersecurity positions. This refers to the system’s effectiveness.

These are the top cybersecurity threats to small businesses

The Small Business Administration conducted a survey and found that cyber attackers are targeting small businesses for two reasons. They know that small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than larger organizations without the IT resources. Zwei, small businesses might have relationships with larger organizations that could give hackers a direct path to sensitive data.

Small businesses must be aware of the three major cybersecurity threats they face to protect their customers and company information.

Malware attacks

Cyber threats include trojans and viruses. This could cause serious damage to businesses.

Ransomware

CISA reports that ransomware threats are on the rise in 2021. Hackers often inflict computer damage via email. This can cause financial and other problems.

Phishing

Phishing is when hackers send fake emails or messages to employees with malicious hyperlinks to their business networks. These are often the main cause of data breach in small businesses. 

Phishing attacks can lead to data leaks and system freezes or virus installation. FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report reveals that there were $54 million in losses due to these attacks. 

How can small businesses be protected?

Small businesses are more susceptible to cyber attacks than large companies because they have less resources to recover. 60% of small businesses can close within six months.

Let’s start by discussing the CIA Triad, before we get into how small businesses can be protected. This model is widely accepted as the basis for modern cybersecurity standards.

What’s the CIA Triad?

The CIA Triad identifies the three most important components of security: availability, confidentiality, and integrity. Cyberattacks aim to compromise at least one. These components provide security guidelines and guidance to the operation of information systems.

  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity – It is crucial to take the appropriate steps to ensure that system data are reliable and trustworthy.
  • Accessibility

This is a great example of the CIA Triad that someone who manages a successful eCommerce website can use.

  • Confidentiality: To log in to an account, the business owner must enter their username and password. This will send them a code to reset their password.
  • Integrity – Once they log in they have access to accurate, unaltered customer data and personal data.
  • Accessibility – Customers and business owners can access the store online at all hours of the day.

NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a department within the US Department of Commerce. This department helps businesses improve their cybersecurity posture. This five-step process allows small businesses to secure their information security systems.

  1. Identify
  2. Protect 
  3. Detect
  4. Respond
  5. Recover

1. Identify

First identify any devices, accounts or data that need protection and monitoring. 

  • Equipment. Computers, laptop POS systems, smartphones, routers
  • Network. Network.
  • Passwords to your account. Login information for email accounts, company software, and computers and laptops.
  • Cloud storage. All files/information that use cloud storage.
  • Your website. Your website.

2. Protect

Cyber threats could pose a grave threat to your company. This is why your company should have a multi-faceted strategy.

  • It is important to appoint someone who will oversee all cybersecurity initiatives. You will need to hire someone if you are the sole employee.
  • Install host based firewalls and full disk encryption. All updates will be installed automatically when you set up the software
  • Only authorized personnel are allowed to log in to your networks or systems.
  • Create strong passwords for all accounts and devices and make sure they are kept up to date every six months. 
  • Minimum 8 characters
  • One or More Uppercase Letters
  • A unique character
  • One number
  • Implement email spam filters.
  • Staff must be trained on the most serious threats.
  • Security audits should be performed regularly to ensure that your system is safe.
  • Protect all critical assets
  • Use multi-factor authentication.
  • Protect your clients’ data by securely processing your payments 

3. Detect

Cyberattacks should be your first line defense. Report any suspicious activity, such as file transfers, data movement, or login attempts, to your security personnel immediately.

4. Respond

  • Identify the compromised systems and data.
  • Confirm type and extent of attack.
  • Notify all users of your network. If the source of the breach was an email,
  • Take the target computer, system or application offline to isolate the attack.
  • Discuss with your IT professional any backdoors hackers may have created in order to gain access.
  • Identify the reason.

5. Recover

A cyberattack can make it difficult to recover. Let your systems and employees prioritize recovery. 

  • Inform regulatory agencies and law enforcement authorities.
  • Be transparent with your clients and customers about the breach to regain trust. While a cybersecurity attack could damage your reputation, not sharing this information with others could lead to more harm.

Select a trusted web builder

Websites can contain sensitive data like payment process information, customer credit card data, email addresses and login credentials. Website security is important to protect your business.

Self-hosted platforms vs. managed platform

Kobe Digital is a managed platform. This means that Kobe Digital users are not responsible for ensuring website security. Kobe Digital does not have dedicated security teams for self-hosted platforms. Instead, Kobe Digital has established review processes and investigated suspicious activity in order to ensure that all users remain secure. This gives business owners more confidence in their website’s security and allows them to concentrate on other activities.

Website managers are required to adhere to privacy and security standards. Partnering with a provider that is skilled in handling cybersecurity threats will allow you to focus on your business.

Make sure your website platform is compatible:

  • This Level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard protects cardholders and credit card information.
  • SOC2 Type 2 – This auditing process was created by the American Institute of CPAs. This ensures that service providers can manage user data securely.
  • International Organization for Standardization standards 27001 to 27001, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318, 27318), 27018, and 27701 are the four primary security standards for ISO. These standards govern companies that manage intellectual property, data, services and other assets that have been entrusted.
  • General data protection regulation: An EU-governed law that protects customers’ privacy and ensures data security.
  • Brazilian General Data Protection Law Brazil’s version GDPR. The law unites all policies in Brazil that regulate personal information online.
  • California Consumer privacy Act: This California law permits consumers to see all personal information a company has and with whom it has shared it.

Additional resources

Managed website builders will make sure your site is protected. A managed website builder will ensure that your site is secure.

  1. Federal Communications Commission’s cybersecurity planning software. The FCC regulates communications in all 50 states. The FCC created this tool to help businesses develop a comprehensive plan of action.

  2. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides this assessment tool. It can be used by business owners to determine how prepared their company is for a cyber attack. Ask a DHS professional to perform an assessment.

  3. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers useful materials for SMBs to help them build a strong cybersecurity position. Cybersecurity Resources Roadmap, and Cyber Essentials are just a few of the many resources they offer.

  4. National Cyber Security Alliance case study: These scenarios were developed in collaboration with NIST to help business owners understand how to deal with attacks and how to improve cybersecurity.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.