During the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattacks have diversified and increased. Many hackers have targeted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Remote working caused cybersecurity challenges. Especially most smaller businesses caught unprepared for the increasing sophisticated cyberattacks.
Remote work pushed phishing attacks
The data presented by the Atlas VPN team shows that the most common attacks among Europe’s small and medium enterprises are phishing and web-based attacks. Atlas VPN collected and interpreted European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) survey. This survey covered 249 SMEs from 25 European Union countries which participated in the online questionnaire conducted between July and September 2020. European SMEs need to tackle this issue more seriously and work on educational programs for the employees.
41% of SMEs claimed to have experienced phishing attacks such as a threat. This type of attack has become extremely popular due to remote work. All it takes is one careless click on a link, and a hacker has access to sensitive business information.
Secondly, 40% of SMEs got hit by web-based attacks. Cybercriminals use this type of attack to steal desirable customer data. Hackers can find vulnerabilities easier at SMEs, as they might not be able to secure their web applications better.
Following web-based attacks, 39% of SMEs have experienced a general malware attack. Hackers precisely search for lesser secured SMEs to get quick money.
Malicious insiders were a threat to 19% of small and medium companies. Otherwise known as turncloak is someone who abuses legitimate credentials to gain financial or personal benefits. For example, an individual who holds a grudge against his former employer or a devious employee who sells secret information to a competitor.
12% of European SMEs hit by denial-of-service attacks. By disrupting a business’s website, hackers could lead to revenue losses, breached data, and customers’ distrust.
Cybersecurity tips for avoiding attacks
AtlasVPN gave some advice for small businesses not to suffer from these types of attacks. Having a backup of your business data in the cloud is one of the essential measures you can take to protect your company.
- A set of rules describing how to handle sensitive data and use the internet securely would lower the risk of employee mistakes causing a data leak or a cyberattack.
- Keeping your security software, operating system, and web browser up to date are great defensive tools against viruses and other online threats.
- Lastly, put up a firewall on the Wi-Fi network to prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network.