Cybercrime is still on the rise, with approximately 50% of all cyber attacks targeting small businesses. There are a few reasons why hackers are increasingly going after the little guy. Often, small businesses don’t have adequate cybersecurity. This means that while the ransom for a small business will be lower, the chances of successfully hacking the business (and getting away with it) are higher than if they target a large organisation.

Small businesses also have plenty of data that hackers can use, including credit card information and personal details that can be used for fraud and identity theft. They tend to work with other small businesses, so hacking one can also be an easy stepping stone to other businesses around the same size with similar cybersecurity issues.

Cybercriminals are excellent at what they do. Their goal is to gain access to your server and often to shut it down completely until you pay a ransom to get it back. Even then, they’re likely to steal company data- which can severely impact your company’s reputation.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your business safe from cybercriminals:

Choose the right email provider

Most of the time, hackers gain access to company networks by sending out emails targeting specific people within an organisation. When an unsuspecting recipient assumes the email is from someone they know and clicks on a link or attachment within that email, cybercriminals can then gain access to the entire network. The email provider you choose can determine whether your business is safe from cybercriminals. Look for a provider that stores your email data in the cloud, with spam management, extensive storage space, and automatic backups.

Educate your team

Cybercriminals often target employees with emails that appear to have come from someone else within the business. That’s why it’s crucial to train them to look for spam emails so they can alert your IT team if they’re sent something suspicious. One way to do this is to make it a game. There are a number of simulator training tools on the market that try to trick employees into opening a link or attachment from the wrong type of email. Employees who mistakenly open or click on links or attachments will need extra training and support. Be sure to encourage employees to immediately report if they accidentally downloaded or clicked on something they shouldn’t have. They should feel safe to report infractions so you can deal with it before it’s too late.

Stay updated

If you’re working with legacy software, you may be putting off an upgrade to a custom software solution or even a new off-the-shelf option. However, this is a big mistake if you’re hoping to keep your business secure. That’s because legacy software that has been around for a long time is easy to hack – many cybercriminals are well aware of any vulnerabilities and backdoors into your network. Eventually, legacy software is no longer updated by the software provider, which means you won’t have access to any new security patches. Consider upgrading to a newer software system if you’re still running legacy software, and ensure you always update as soon as your provider releases a new patch or security fix.

As you can see, staying one step ahead of cybercriminals isn’t easy. By using the above tips, you’ll be able to keep your business safe and hackers will look for an easier target instead.