As we have reached full swing into the new year, there is a lot of promise as to the possibilities that 2019 holds for small businesses. With that, however, comes a more intense threat of cyber security breaches. As a managed service provider, we keep eyes on these numbers every year to see exactly where the trends are rising, and we have noticed that cyber security threats are rising tremendously for small businesses. Don’t believe us? In 2018, we saw Facebook lose 30 million in personal records and Under Armour’s myfitnesspal lost 150 million records. These are actual numbers from the previous year, and they are only projected to be the beginning of it. To help prepare you small businesses for the upcoming year, we want to provide you with a few predictions and tips on how to avoid these types of threats. 

Prediction: Cyber Attackers Will Leverage AI

Usually, businesses and IT support teams are use to attackers going after the AI systems, but in 2019, attackers will enlist this type of intelligence to hunt for vulnerabilities in a company’s network. The AI will probe a business’s system and exploit anywhere possible and will make phishing scams even more sophisticated. 

Tip: Use Multi-Factor Authentication

You may be familiar with this type of authentication because of Apple or other similar platforms and see it as an extremely frustrating process. Even though this may seem frustrating to you and your users, IT support teams highly recommend that they be put into place. These systems are much more safer than password-only access and can help keep your consumers information safe. To help keep the frustration levels at bay, add a line of verbiage to explain that this system is in place to keep their information safe from any cyber attackers. 

Prediction: 5G Expansion Will Expand an Attackers Surface Area

We have seen it time and time again with new hotspots and coverage keeping our network’s at lighting speed. With 5G continually being worked on and applied in various areas, this opens the door for attackers to swoop on in. Making the shift to 5G means a new type of architecture and network models to make it operate which means the possibility of new vulnerabilities for hackers to attack. Now, we are not saying that you should not make the switch if you want to, but you should be aware of the possible risks that the switch comes with. 

Tip: Train Your Company on Phishing Scams

This type of cyber attack may not be new to the new year, but it is one of the leading modes that cyber attackers use to affect businesses. A major concern we have with this type of scam is that it continues to rise. Your business and its employees must be cautious when giving out financial information over the Internet and should avoid it at all costs. 

Our last tip, which may be the most important, is to keep everyone in your organization informed on how they types of attacks can ultimately affect your business. Your business may want to increase the budget you are spending on cybersecurity and consider outsourcing all IT service to a managed service provider that can keep a dedicated eye on all areas related to your business’s cyber security.