A bunch of data flows forward and breaks a shield thus breaching security

Small businesses face unique challenges every day. They have to keep themselves relevant in today’s economy to compete with larger corporations. Their goods and services have to offer a unique experience that their customers won’t find anywhere else. They have to hire a strong team of loyal employees that work hard to continue to build the budding business, allowing it to grow. With all of the different factors that smaller businesses have to juggle constantly, they often don’t think about the unseen enemy until it has already struck.

Every website is constantly under threat of attack from malware, ransomware, and phishing sites. While large businesses often have IT technicians that are trained to specifically recognize and minimize these threats, smaller businesses often don’t have the same resources. Without proper protection, small businesses are an easy target for hackers and viral attacks. Wondering what the chances of your website getting hacked are? Here are the numbers and what you can do to prevent disaster.

The Numbers

In 2020, research from the IBM and Ponemon Institute’s study into cybersecurity threats found that small businesses lost $7.68 million on average due to cyber attacks on their website. Forty-three percent of those attacks could have been avoided had the small business had some protection in place for their website.

Sitelock, a leading cybersecurity company, reported the following in 2020:

  • On average, websites were attacked 94 times per day.
  • Security breaches have increased by 67% over the last five years.

Leading Threats in Cybersecurity

 These are the leading threats when it comes to small business cyber attacks:

  • Phishing Attacks: This type of attack accounted for 90% of all breaches to small businesses and resulted in $12 billion in business losses.
  • Malware Attacks: These attacks are composed of a variety of cyber threats, such as trojans and viruses aimed at getting access to networks, stealing sensitive data, and destroying data on computers. 
  • Ransomware Attacks: These attacks affect thousands of small businesses every year. Ransomware encrypts company data so that it is no longer accessible or usable. The company will then have to pay a ransom to unlock the data.

What Can I Do to Prevent a Cyber Attack?

If your small business uses WordPress as your content management system (CMS), then your website is already a target for hackers. WordPress is one of the largest and most popular content management systems in the U.S. Running plugins on your site makes you susceptible to attacks from hackers and malware. One to nine plugins will be targeted for infection by malware, ransomware, or phishing schemes. Make sure you are picky about what plugins you add to your site and don’t add in a bunch of plugins just because you think you need them. The more plugins you have, the more vulnerable your site becomes.

To protect your website from being hacked or attacked by cyber threats, here are some steps you can take:

  • Update Your Software: This includes WordPress, plugins, themes, and even your computer’s operating system.
  • Avoid Spam: Make sure your employees know what to look for concerning spam. If something looks suspicious, don’t click on it. Instead, delete the email or immediately get off the website. If an email looks legitimate but the link seems off, get in contact with the individual who you think sent it and ask them about it. Odds are, they got hacked and the hacker is trying to get you as well.
  • Remove the “Admin” User Account: The default WordPress user account has the username “admin.” Hackers looking to break into a WordPress site will often try a brute force break-in, and if the “admin” account is there, half the work is done for them. Remove the “admin” account, and a hacker has to get both the username and the password correct in order to break in. The majority of brute force attacks can be thwarted by this very simple strategy, as many attempts to break in will only try the “admin” username.
  • Unique Strong Passwords: Strong passwords are essential for both your WordPress account and your Server’s CPanel. Do not use passwords you use elsewhere, do not use common words, make sure that you use random capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. 
  • Backup All Data: Backup data to make sure you can access copies of your work and restore data should you get attacked by ransomware. This makes it easier and faster to restore your site after a malware attack and helps you avoid paying a ransom to get your sensitive information back.
  • Invest in Security Programs: Security programs are a must for small businesses. Antivirus software, such as Norton Security, will greatly reduce the risk of you or your employees encountering infectious links, falling prey to phishing scams, or downloading malware or viruses to your computer without your knowledge.
  • Website Security: Just as you need to protect your computers, you also need to have security for your website. Both the website hosting provider and your chosen content management system need to have security software. SiteLock and Securi are good security programs for your web hosting platform, and WordFence can protect your content management system.

Link Right Media, the Leading Website Developer for Small Businesses

The world of cybersecurity and website building may be a bit overwhelming. Link Right Media can help you build the perfect site for your small business, connect you to your clients, and give you unparalleled advice about website management and security. With a top-notch web-development team, passionate employees committed to making your business succeed, and a dedication to open and honest communication, you can trust that Link Right Media will be an advocate for you. We also provide social media services to keep your business relevant in today’s market, PPC Services to make sure your clients know how to find you, and SEO services to help you get to the top of local search results to ensure that your potential customers find you. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment.

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