Cyberattacks on U.S. Federal Agencies: How Small Businesses Should Respond
The second half of 2022 saw a sharp rise in cyberattacks on the federal government. In fact, the second half of 2022 saw 95 percent more cyberattacks on federal governments than the second half of 2021. If cyberattacks victimize even the federal government, what can small businesses do to avoid the same fate?
Some small business owners may think that because they are a smaller target than the federal government, the same cyberattack risks do not apply to them. To a point, this is true. Government agencies face cyberattacks on a larger scale and sometimes for different reasons, such as cyberattacks carried out by other governments or non-governmental organizations for political reasons.
While the threat of hackers is different for small businesses, by no means are hackers overlooking small businesses. According to strongdm, 46 percent of all cybersecurity breaches occur in businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, and this figure has risen over recent years. With a little focus and understanding of the subject, your business can have cybersecurity far better than most.
Implement cybersecurity training programs in your organization
A business’s cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link. In this case, your weakest link is probably your most careless employee. You can account for human error in cybersecurity by requiring specific security measures, either as business-wide guidelines or as settings or features in the software the business uses.
Requiring strong passwords, password expiration dates, and multi-factor authentication of every employee can put you ahead of many other small businesses and drastically reduce your chance of a cybersecurity breach. While many companies have these features in their software, the number that requires all three of everyone may be fewer than you would expect.
The Zero Trust Model of cybersecurity can also help organize how data travels in your business. The main principle of this model is continuous multi-factor verification, which minimizes the chance of a security breach and how much damage can be caused by a single security breach. Of course, adopting this principle is different for every business. Over-adopting Zero Trust can slow down the entire business due to the inconvenience of all the authentication, while under-adopting it can lead to easily avoidable weak points in security.
Consider hiring a managed services provider
Managed service providers (MSPs) can greatly help a small business seeking stronger cybersecurity. They act as third-party managers of information technology needs, allowing businesses to focus on their primary tasks without worrying about technical issues. Not only will an MSP be able to fix and prevent technical issues, but it can also keep the business’s cybersecurity up to date and in line with your preferences.
While even the federal government can experience cyberattacks, small businesses can minimize their chances of incurring a cybersecurity breach by adopting business-wide cybersecurity requirements and enlisting the help of an MSP. If you can make these factors work well with your business’s needs, you’ll be able to do all you need to do with exponentially less risk.