Cyberattacks put 60% of small companies out of business. The average small business security budget is just $500 in 2024, which is shocking considering that the value of the cyber insurance market is anticipated to reach $20 billion by next year. What’s more, every tenth small business suffers a cyberattack each year.

The Most Common Cyber Threats

The Most Common Cyber ThreatsPhishing attacks are the biggest threat, according to 30% of small businesses. Others include malware, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and DDoS attacks.

Malicious software steals data, compromises website functionality, or facilitates unauthorized access.

Attackers use malicious SQL commands to access, delete, or change sensitive data.

DDoS attacks make websites inaccessible by overwhelming the servers hosting them.

Cross-site scripting is where the attacker injects malicious scripts into web pages to steal sensitive information.

Finally, someone might perpetrate a brute force attack, which is where they try different username and password combinations until they gain access to the website.

Main Causes and Victims of Security Breaches

Human error leads to the vast majority of data breaches – 95%. Financial gain motivates 93% of data breaches. Businesses with fewer than 1,000 staff members are the victims of 46% of all breaches.

The shortage of skilled cybersecurity experts contributes to the risk. According to 70% of cybersecurity professionals, this has started to affect the companies they work for.

Ordinary users are often at a loss for what to do after suffering a data breach. 56% of Americans do not know what measures to take in this situation.

In 2024, only 23% of security leaders perform real-time monitoring for cybersecurity risks.

Modern Solutions: Cloud Backup

Modern Solutions: Cloud BackupThe best cloud-based backup solutions ensure direct access to data, regardless of the user’s location. Cloud backups have become essential now that there’s more data than ever. Most users back up data by saving it to a USB or an external hard drive, but experts recommend following the so-called 3-2-1 backup rule.

According to this strategy, you need to keep three copies of the data and store two of them on different media types and one offsite. This can mean one copy on your computer, a backup to an external or USB drive, and a cloud backup solution covering the offsite backup.

Keep Your Software Updated

People continue to overlook this obvious security measure, which is simple yet effective. Prioritize updates for the operating systems, third-party apps, and content management systems. Regularly update all the software your website uses, including themes and plugins, to reduce the risk of attackers targeting vulnerabilities.

Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning

Use automated scanning tools to monitor your small business website for the OWASP Top 10 and other known vulnerabilities. In addition, have a security professional carry out periodic penetration tests to detect security flaws and simulate real attacks. Automated scanning tools can miss more complex security risks.

Implement Reliable Access Control

Implement Reliable Access ControlAdvanced access control measures block unauthorized access to sensitive areas of your small business website, which reduces security risks. Key measures include role-based access control, multifactor authentication, and limiting the number of login attempts.

Users should be given specific roles with predetermined access privileges based on their activities and tasks. Restricting the number of login attempts will help thwart brute force attacks.

Only trusted users should be able to upload files. Validate uploaded files to prevent unauthorized server access or malicious script execution.

Enforce session timeouts to reduce the risk of hijacked sessions.

Sanitize and Validate Input

You can prevent the risk of injection attacks by sanitizing and checking user inputs. They should comply with the expected formats. Reject any input with potentially dangerous content, such as XSS scripts or SQL injection payloads.

Before displaying user-supplied data on web pages, you should have a professional encode it. This will keep XSS attacks at bay. It will also make sure user-supplied content is treated as data, not code.

Monitor Traffic Patterns

Set up monitoring in real-time using traffic monitoring tools. This includes alerts for unusual traffic patterns or traffic spikes, as they might signal an attack.

Take measures to limit the number of requests from user agents or IP addresses. This will stop excessive traffic from overwhelming your small business website.

Finally, have an expert analyze the traffic if you can’t tell legitimate users apart from bots. Telltale signs of illegitimate users include unusually high request rates from certain regions or specific IP addresses.

In Sum

  • Cyberthreats are a real risk to small businesses
  • The most common cyber threats, causes, and victims
  • Modern solutions start with cloud backup
  • Beyond data backup, update your software
  • Periodic penetration testing
  • Implement reliable access control
  • Sanitize and validate input
  • Watch for unusual traffic


Nadia Ali

Nadia Ali, with a Master’s in Computer Science from Washington University, has been a vibrant part of our tech and entertainment team since 2021. Her background includes working at leading tech firms and developing software for media applications. Nadia’s articles offer a unique blend of technical expertise and insights into the latest entertainment trends. A classical music aficionado, she often draws parallels between technology and the arts in her writing.

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