The management of money, whether it be for an SMB’s bank account or finance management app, is predominantly conducted online in today’s day and age, largely thanks to advancements in technology that have facilitated better financial management. However, this progress has also meant the creation of vulnerabilities that cyber criminals can exploit.
Almost every app and digital solution used by SMBs requires an email address or an identification process for access. If the app’s data security measures are not up to scratch, cyber criminals can gain access to this data. While most apps do offer solid data security, it is important not to overlook the most susceptible part of the security chain – human behaviour.
Phishing attacks, for instance, are a worryingly common method by which cyber criminals steal money. They thrive on a lack of knowledge and awareness amongst their victims. Phishing goes beyond malicious emails in an employee’s inbox – it often involves social engineering attacks that are much harder to identify.
Here are three ways to help protect an SMB from phishing and other malware attacks:
The first step in combating phishing is through education. Attackers rely on their victims’ lack of knowledge or inability to spot a suspicious email, and can use sophisticated methods to dupe even the most astute of employees. For instance, they might impersonate a bank, demanding one-time passwords or other information. It is important to read the data storage and communication policies of the resources being used, and to never assume that any form of communication is completely safe or trustworthy.
Passwords remain a crucial component of cybersecurity, even as we continue to make advancements in online security. Due to the nature of many apps, employees will likely need to create and store passwords. When doing so, they should avoid using personal information, or using the same password across multiple accounts. Even though passwords may be written down on paper, it is important to keep them secured and coded in a way that only the employee can understand.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an excellent way of reducing the likelihood of suffering a data breach. MFA allows for added security beyond just the use of a password – this second factor is usually a one-time password or code delivered to a personal device, such as a smartphone. Whilst this process is effective, it does not completely eliminate all security risks, and it is still possible to fall prey to phishing tactics.
To prevent breaches, it is important to implement a combination of these measures and educate staff on how to use them properly. Cybersecurity remains essential for businesses looking to protect themselves.