Since the beginning of the pandemic, cybersecurity attacks have increased exponentially. While we often hear about high-profile attacks like the recent ransomware attack on huge companies like Kronos, the fact is that criminals are targeting small businesses as well. Cybersecurity risks are growing for small businesses more than ever.

In a recent speech about top cybersecurity threats, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “Today’s cyber threats are more pervasive, hit a wider variety of victims, and carry the potential for greater damage than ever before.”

Small businesses often don’t have reliable backups of data or robust cybersecurity, making them easy targets for hackers. In addition, a lack of backups can make a small business much more likely to give in to the demands of an attack like a ransomware attack.

As we look to 2022, we continue to believe that cybersecurity awareness is one of the most important skills you can have as a small business owner. We’ve compiled a list of 9 top cybersecurity threats that your business faces in the coming year. Understanding these threats is the first step in protecting yourself from them.

9 Cybersecurity Risks Your Business Could Face in 2022

2. Cloud Jacking

When hackers gain access to your cloud accounts, they have access to critical data like passwords and usernames, consumer data, and other financial information. 

3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD is the practice of allowing your employees to use their own devices. While it is a convenient way to allow employees more flexibility as to when and where they work, it does open up your system to vulnerabilities. Personal devices may not have the same cybersecurity precautions that your business’s devices do — opening up an opportunity for malware attacks. In addition, employees may be accessing critical data on unsecured networks if they are traveling or working from home.

4. Ransomware

A ransomware attack is one of the top cybersecurity threats today.  In 2018, 71% of ransomware attacks targeted small businesses. During a ransomware attack, criminals lock access to your data until a ransom is paid. Without a backup, you face the possibility of complete data loss, even if you pay the ransom.

5. Weak Passwords

Weak passwords open up IT systems to major cybersecurity risks. Hackers conduct brute force attacks where computers generate an infinite number of passwords until they find the right one. The good news is that complex passwords take longer to guess, and a hacker will eventually give up if the password hack is taking too long.

6. Insider Threats

Insider threats involve an employee who attacks your IT network from within. In 2017, 25% of data breaches were caused by insider threats. It may be a disgruntled worker or a bad actor. Either way, it’s important to put safeguards in place to protect your business from within.

7. Malicious Apps

“Download at your own risk” is a good rule to live by. Be especially careful of apps that you download to your computers and devices. A malicious app can download malware onto your computer and put your data at risk. Read these tips and advice from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

8. DoS

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is an attack on an individual computer or network that uses as many of your resources as possible so that legitimate users of the computer or network are shut out. Similarly, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack uses many different hacked and networked computers to “flood” the victim’s computer or network with excessive amounts of data. In both attacks, all of the computing resources are unavailable for legitimate users.

9. Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is an attack that secretly harnesses the power of your computer to “mine” for cryptocurrencies. When a person mines for cryptocurrency, they must invest in energy and expensive hardware to carry out the virtual mining operation. To avoid these costs, hackers will use your resources to mine the currency. The good news is that the majority of these attacks will not result in permanent damage to your system or data loss, but they might slow the performance of your computers. To read more about cryptojacking, go here.

Is Your Business Fortified Against Cybersecurity Risks?

The array of IT issues is complex and varied and trying to determine the best way to protect your business is a huge drain on your limited time. Cyber attacks are rapidly changing and growing more and more sophisticated, and it’s hard for the average business owner to keep up.

We know this list can seem a little overwhelming for business owners, and it’s important to remember that you can take proven steps to protect yourself. That’s why we’ve been helping businesses protect their IT for nearly 30 years.

Would you like to know specifically where your business might be facing cybersecurity risks? We can help you identify your business’s IT vulnerabilities. In 2022, it’s time for peace of mind that your business’s critical data and network are protected from bad actors. Give SandStorm IT a call at 901-475-0275 to discuss how we can help.