Data-Driven Strategies for Resolving Cyber Threats as a Business Owner

Big data technology has become very important for business owners trying to stave off cyberattacks.
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Big data has become an essential asset in the fight against cybercrime. This has caused the demand for cybersecurity professionals with a background in big data to grow. It is important to use the latest data analytics and AI technology to counter these threats if at all possible.

Business Owners Lean on Big Data to Deal with Cybercrime Threats

It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic caused a lot of industries to get flipped on their head or at least make some major organizational changes in order to stay afloat during the peak of shelter-in-place orders and other legalities aimed to stop the spread of the virus.  The great thing about living in a world governed by advances in big data technology is that it was possible to offer these services remotely.

For many businesses, there was a move to the remote workplace for those employees who could do most of their work on a computer. In a classic “one thing leading to another” scenario, there was a boom in ecommerce and web-based sharing of data for businesses, which also led to a spike in cybersecurity breaches. For business owners looking to keep all or some of their business in the remote office (it’s a big money saver), it’s important to understand the seriousness of cyber threats and the possibility of a data breach, especially in a post-pandemic world with a heavier reliance on web-based interactions. 

Types of Attacks

There is a near-endless list of different types of hackers, but they don’t all take aim at small businesses. Some try to infiltrate home networks to steal data, and others even do what is called “hacktivism,” in a “steal from the rich and give to the poor” type of scenario that includes things like publishing information on corrupt politicians. 

Here is a list of some of the types of hackers use to orchestrate data breaches that you need to be the most wary of at your small business. 

  • Phishing – These attacks are most often conducted via email, and focus on pulling on the heart strings of the receiver in order to get them to share information that can be used to infiltrate a network. When the pandemic first hit, phishing attacks increased by a whopping 600%, most via unsecure home networks being relied upon for work activities that would have otherwise been conducted at home. Phishing emails will often disguise themselves as an organization looking for financial help, and last year, a Texas school lost more than $2 million after a hacker forged an email from the World Health Organization to steal data from the public.
  • Software Vendors – Part of the move to remote work was a heavier reliance on software to help with project management and communication, and these vendors became targets of many cyber attacks focused on stealing sensitive data. A silver lining to the pandemic was a heavy increase in capabilities offered by software, but no matter what it offers your company, be sure to look up how well they secure their information and if they have been victim of any attacks
  • Cloud Storage – Companies needed to rely on cloud storage during the pandemic, as well, and this led to a spike in cloud-based hacking. Technology allows hackers to scan cloud servers to find openings that don’t have passwords, or have very simple-to-break ones. Ultimately, any server is vulnerable, so ensuring you protect your information within the server is important and should be something you train your team on.

Take Adequate Steps to Prevent Data Breaches as a Small Business Owner

Speaking of training, it’s your responsibility to protect your client and customer’s data. Unfortunately, a data breach of any sort can be catastrophic to your bank account and your image. More than half of employees working remotely during the pandemic said they probably did some things that made company information more vulnerable than it would have been if they were in an office, so training, training, and more training should be the first three things on your cybersecurity list. Investments into security software are also generally sound. 

Ryan Ayers
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.