Network security threats SMBs should look out for

Network security threats SMBs should look out for

As a small- to mid-sized business (SMB) owner, it’s important to be aware of the top network security threats that could impact your company. These threats are constantly evolving, but knowing what to look out for will help you avoid them or take action before they cause serious damage.

Let’s take a look at the top network security threats SMBs should watch out for and what you can do to protect against them.

Social engineering

Social engineering is the practice of using human interaction to gather information or gain access to a network. In a social engineering attack, hackers use deception or manipulation to get your employees to divulge confidential information or install malware on your systems.

The most common forms of social engineering are phishing, vishing, and smishing. Phishing involves sending fraudulent emails in an attempt to get recipients to click on a malicious link or open an infected attachment. Vishing and smishing operate on the same principle, but use voice and text messages, respectively, instead of emails.

The best way to prevent social engineering attacks is to educate your employees about the dangers of these scams and remind them to never give out sensitive information or click on links or attachments from unknown sources. You should also have a strong security policy in place that outlines the steps employees need to take should they receive a suspicious email, call, or text requesting sensitive information.


Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and holds it hostage until you pay a ransom. If you fail to pay the ransom, the hackers may delete your data, leak it online, or sell it on the dark web.

Ransomware attacks usually begin with a phishing email or attachment that contains malicious code. Once the code is executed, it encrypts your data and renders it unusable. The attacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. However, there is no guarantee that the attacker will decrypt your data even after you make the payment.

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from ransomware attacks, including installing a robust antivirus and anti-malware solution, updating your software regularly, and backing up your data. These measures will help to protect your systems from ransomware attacks and ensure that you can recover your data if it is encrypted.

Supply chain attacks

Supply chain attacks occur when hackers target the third-party vendors of a, usually, large organization and use them to gain access to that company’s systems. These attacks are often difficult to detect and can cause serious damage to the targeted organization.

Even if you are an SMB, you could be impacted by a supply chain attack if one of your vendors is compromised. The best ways to protect yourself from these attacks are to ensure that you only do business with reputable vendors and your security policies extend to the companies you work with. You should also have a contingency plan in place to deal with a potential supply chain attack.

Unpatched software

Vulnerabilities in your software can leave you exposed to a variety of security threats. Hackers can use these weaknesses to exploit your systems and steal your data. They can also use them to install malware on your systems or take over your devices.

You can keep your business safe by installing software updates as soon as they are released. This ensures that your systems have the latest security patches and are less likely to be vulnerable to attacks. You should also make sure that you only download and install programs from reputable sources to reduce the risk of downloading unsecure software and malware.

Insider threats

Insider threats occur when your employees intentionally or accidentally expose your systems to security threats. These attacks can be intentional, such as when a disgruntled employee steals sensitive data or sabotages your business operations. They can also be accidental, such as when an employee clicks on a malicious link or downloads malware from a website.

Insider threats can be difficult to prevent because you have no control over the actions of your employees. However, you can still take steps to reduce the risk of a malicious insider attack, such as by conducting background checks before hiring new employees and monitoring your network for suspicious activity. Training your employees on how to properly use your systems and limiting the number of people who have access to sensitive information can also help to minimize the chances of an insider attack.

Ultimately, implementing robust security measures and policies is the best way to protect yourself from network security threats. You should also have a contingency plan in place in case your systems are breached, so that you can minimize the damage and get back to work as soon as possible.

If you need help protecting your SMB network from these threats and others, contact us to schedule a consultation. We can review your existing policies and help you to implement additional security measures that will keep your data safe.

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