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5 Types of Cyber Attacks That Threaten Small Businesses

Because news surrounding data breaches often highlight major companies like Target or Yahoo, it’s easy to think of cyber attacks as a big business problem. However, small businesses are just as much at risk and could have to front $46,000 or more per cyber security event. As such, it’s important to be aware of the following five common cyber attacks that threaten small businesses:

  1. Denial-of-service attacks (DoS). A DoS attack occurs when a cyber criminal sends a large amount of data from multiple computers in order to overwhelm your system and shut it down. This attack can result in a direct loss in revenue, as your website could be down for extended periods of time.
  2. Inside attacks. Cyber attacks don’t always come from outside sources. In some cases, a disgruntled employee who has access to your system can hijack your critical data and hold it for ransom.
  3. Malware is any malicious software that can be used to gain access to your system and cause damage. Typically, malware refers to worms, viruses and ransomware.
  4. Password attacks. Password attacks are when hackers crack your password and gain access to your system. This type of attack can be difficult to defend against because it doesn’t always require a malicious code or software.
  5. Phishing is a cyber attack in which a hacker disguises him- or herself as a trusted source in order to acquire sensitive information. This can be accomplished via email or other direct forms of online contact.

To protect themselves from all types of cyber breaches, small businesses should consider evaluating their systems for exposures on a regular basis. In addition, it is important to train workers on cyber security and ensure that antivirus and other protective measures are up to date and operational.

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