Data breaches spiked after the pandemic hit, and with employees working remotely, it led to an increase in cyberattacks. Reports show that small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Washington D.C. are the most common target for these attacks. For example, in 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $149 per record. This means that small businesses (with under 100 employees) could be looking at an average total cost of $14,900.
There are a few key reasons why SMBs are such a popular target for cybercriminals. Their lack of security measures, small staff, and limited budgets make them an easy target. They also tend to have less experience dealing with cyberattacks, which can make it harder for them to recover from an attack.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack, which is why it’s crucial for small businesses to have robust cybersecurity measures in place.
If you’re a small or medium business in Washington D.C., there are some key things you need to be aware of when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are 10 information technology (IT) concerns for SMBs in Washington D.C.:
- Data breaches: As mentioned above, data breaches have become increasingly common, especially for small businesses. In order to protect your business, make sure you have a strong cyber security strategy in place.
- Phishing scams: Phishing scams are one of the most common types of attacks small businesses face. Be sure to educate your employees on how to spot a phishing email and what to do if they receive one.
- Ransomware: Ransomware attacks can be devastating for small businesses. If you are hit with a ransomware attack, make sure you have a backup of your data so you can restore it if necessary.
- Business email compromise: Business email compromise attacks are on the rise. Be sure to verify the sender of any important emails before sending any sensitive information.
- Denial-of-service attacks: Denial-of-service attacks can render your website or server inaccessible. Make sure you have adequate security measures in place to protect against these types of attacks.
- Malware: Malware is often used in conjunction with other attacks, such as phishing scams and ransomware. Be sure to keep your antivirus software up to date and scan your computers regularly for malware.
- SQL injection: SQL injection attacks can be used to gain access to sensitive information, such as customer data. Be sure to use parameterized queries and input validation to protect against these types of attacks.
- Cross-site scripting: Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection attack. Be sure to sanitize all user input to prevent XSS attacks.
- Social engineering: Social engineering attacks exploit human weaknesses, such as the tendency to trust others. Be sure to educate your employees on how to spot a social engineering attack and what to do if they encounter one.
- Password security: Weak passwords are one of the most common security vulnerabilities. Be sure to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
Working with an information technology (IT) support company can help you identify and mitigate these risks. They have the experience and expertise to help you safeguard your business in Washington D.C. against IT threats.