What makes a business vulnerable to cyberattacks?

Cybersecurity threats are real and can be extremely detrimental to a business. Proactively protecting your business against cyber threats is your best chance to avoid them. To do so effectively, you need to understand what makes you vulnerable to cyberattacks. Keep reading to find out if your business has areas it could improve.
Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson

Founder of .

Outdated System and Human Error

Small businesses are at a higher risk of cyberattacks due to their limited cybersecurity measures compared to larger organizations. Unfortunately, this makes them a prime target for cybercriminals, as 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses. A significant issue is the lack of adequate cybersecurity budgets, with almost half of the businesses employing less than 50 people lacking a dedicated budget for cybersecurity.

Additionally, outdated systems, minimal cybersecurity program budgets, and unsupported software are all contributing factors to the vulnerability of small businesses. The pandemic has also increased the average total cost of a data breach, particularly with the rise of remote work.

Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, and the most common initial method of attack for cybercriminals is through compromised credentials. Some of the most common types of cyberattacks include social engineering scams, malware, SQL injections, and denial-of-service attacks.

To mitigate these risks, small businesses must prioritize investing in robust cybersecurity policies and training employees on cybersecurity measures. Professional cybersecurity solutions are also essential to ensure that businesses are well-protected from any potential cyber threats.

Targeting eCommerce

Businesses with eCommerce sites or apps are often uniquely vulnerable to cyber attacks as cybercriminals are often looking for customer information to steal. eCommerce apps usually handle sensitive information such as credit card details, shipping addresses, and personal information, making them a major target for cybercriminals.

To ensure the security of your user data, your app needs to be designed with security in mind from the ground up. This may involve using secure coding practices, implementing encryption protocols, and regularly testing the app for vulnerabilities. It’s also important to comply with industry standards and regulations such as PCI DDS to ensure the app meets established security standards.

Dustin Sitar

Dustin Sitar

Thomas Lewis

Thomas Lewis

CEO and Founder of .

Poorly Secured Systems and Networks

Cyber security is an essential concern for any online business. Hacking attempts and other malicious activities can lead to data breaches and financial losses. To protect against cyber threats, businesses should consider implementing firewalls, antivirus software, and other security measures to safeguard their data and systems. Additionally, they should also create a plan to respond to security incidents and have staff who are trained to recognize and respond to potential cyber threats.

What makes a business vulnerable to cyberattacks?

    ● Poorly Secured Systems and Networks. Poorly secured systems and networks can leave businesses wide open to cyberattacks. These systems and networks are often ones that have inadequate firewalls or outdated, unpatched software. By not having the proper security measures, hackers can easily gain access to the network and wreak havoc on the system.

    ● Weak or Stolen Passwords. Weak or stolen passwords are another common vulnerability. If a hacker were to gain access to an employee’s credentials, they could easily access confidential data or even worse, launch a ransomware attack. It’s important to create strong passwords and use two-factor authentication whenever possible.

    ● Lack of Employee Awareness. Lack of employee awareness is another major vulnerability. Employees need to be trained on proper cyber security practices, such as not clicking on malicious links, not opening suspicious emails, and using strong passwords. Additionally, companies should consider implementing a security awareness training program to ensure employees are educated and updated on the latest cyber threats.

Unprotected Data and Outdated Software

    1. Lack of Cybersecurity Measures. One of the primary reasons businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks is a lack of cybersecurity measures. Many businesses do not take the necessary steps to protect their networks and data, leaving them open to exploitation by cybercriminals. Businesses should invest in cybersecurity solutions such as firewalls, and antivirus software.

    2. Outdated Software. Businesses that fail to keep their software and operating systems up to date are at a higher risk of being hacked. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to exploit outdated software since most of the security patches and updates are designed to keep up with the latest threats.

    3. Unprotected Data. Businesses that do not properly protect their data are at a higher risk for cyberattacks. Businesses should always ensure that their data is encrypted and stored in a secure manner, and that any sensitive data is not stored in an unencrypted format.

Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

Lead Content Editor at .
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

CEO and Founder of .

Third-Party Connections and Unsecured Mobile Devices

A crucial component of every online business is cyber security. Businesses should use robust anti-virus, firewall, and encryption technologies to secure their networks, systems, and data against harmful attacks. Businesses should also establish rules and processes to make sure that both consumers and workers understand their roles in safeguarding sensitive data. Businesses should update their software and applications regularly to make sure that any security flaws are fixed.

What makes a business vulnerable to cyberattacks?

    1. Poor security practices are often the most common cause of a business’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. This includes failing to regularly update software and operating systems, inadequate password management, and not having adequate security protocols in place. Additionally, businesses may also be vulnerable to cyberattacks if they are not properly monitoring their networks for malicious activity. This can leave them open to data breaches, malware, and other malicious cyber threats.

    2. Third-party connections can also significantly increase a business’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. By relying on third-party vendors or service providers to manage sensitive data, businesses may unknowingly be providing access to their networks to malicious actors. When connecting to other networks, businesses may inadvertently be exposing their own networks to cyber threats.

    3. Unsecured mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, and this can create an additional vulnerability for businesses. As mobile devices are often not as secure as traditional computers, they can be easily targeted by cybercriminals. As many mobile devices are connected to the same network as other computers, they can be used to gain access to the network and vulnerable data. Businesses must ensure that all mobile devices are properly secured and monitored for malicious activity.

Poor Network Security

There are a lot of things that can make a business vulnerable to cyberattacks. One is poor network security. A network can be weak in a few ways: weak passwords, passwords that never change, passwords freely given to anyone who asks, remote workers not being given VPNs, etc.

It is crucial to make sure that only the people who work for you can access your network, and that passwords are always strong and are frequently changed. You also want to make sure that nobody ever accesses company data while logged into public WiFi, so VPNs are incredibly important for remote or traveling workers.

Carter Seuthe

Carter Seuthe

Leo Ye

Leo Ye

Founder and CEO of .

Not Investing in Good Security Infrastructure

There are three main reasons that make a business vulnerable to cybersecurity.

    1. Many businesses don’t carry out scheduled security updates, which resultantly increases their vulnerability to cyberattacks. Also, they ignore the need for (cloud) backups to keep their important data secure.

    2. Businesses don’t invest in good security infrastructure. SMBs to mid-sized businesses especially become more vulnerable to cyber threats by ignoring the need for antivirus, firewalls, and specialized tools for their tech stack. They try to save a few extra bucks and become easy prey to cyber attackers.

    3. One common reason for businesses’ vulnerability to cyber attacks is that they don’t have trained resources or specialized teams in the subject. They try using “home-made solutions” or “Google-based knowledge” for this important security aspect and fail because for security “the best” still means something less and uncustomizable for a business’s special needs.

Inadequate Network Segmentation

When a business’s network isn’t segmented properly, a breach in one part of the network can easily spread to other parts, allowing hackers to access sensitive data and systems that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.

Mervyn O’Callaghan

Mervyn O’Callaghan

Co-Founder and CEO of .


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Lack of Training and Security Awareness

There are multiple factors that can make a business vulnerable to cyberattacks. Some of the most common include:

    ● Lack of security updates and patches. If a company does not keep its systems and software up to date, there may be known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
    ● Weak or shared passwords. Passwords that are easy to guess or shared among employees can allow attackers to break into company systems.
    ● Lack of training and security awareness. Employees who are not aware of the best practices of computer security can make mistakes that compromise the security of the company.
    ● Unsecured remote access. If employees access company systems from outside the company network without taking the necessary precautions, attackers can intercept their connection and gain access to the systems.
    ● Lack of physical security measures. If company systems are not physically protected, they can be vulnerable to theft or unauthorized intrusions.
    ● Malware and viruses. If company systems do not have adequate protection measures against malware and viruses, they can be infected and compromised.

It is important that companies take steps to address these vulnerabilities and protect their systems and data against cyberattacks. This may include implementing IT security measures, training and raising awareness of employees on security matters and conducting regular security audits to identify and address existing vulnerabilities.

Work From Home with a Poorly Secured Network

One of the top things that can make a business vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially in this era of remote work, is having employees working from home with sensitive data using an unsecured (or poorly secured) personal network. This can be an easy way for someone to find their way to sensitive client or company data.

Nick Mueller

Director of Operations of .

Larry Snider

VP of Operations of .

Irregular Firewall Maintenance

Businesses become vulnerable to cyberattacks when they don’t regularly maintain their firewalls or don’t put focus on cyber security. There are a lot of other factors, too, but those are the biggest ones. Computer systems in general should always be updated because the operating system frequently updates the computer’s security. If you’re not up-to-date, hackers don’t have a hard time getting into the system, leaving you vulnerable.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.