What Small Businesses Need to Know to Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Risks

What Small Businesses Need to Know to Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Risks

Organizations around the world are increasingly focused on mitigating cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and risks. In the United States alone, cybercrime costs companies more than half a billion dollars each year. Implementing measures like software protection, company-wide training, and better technological capabilities can seem like a daunting and expensive task, especially for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) without in-house security teams.


Tailored managed cybersecurity services that suit an organization’s specific needs serve as an excellent alternative to in-house staff. Hiring an NYC-based cybersecurity service company, offers a wide variety of services and options can keep your business’s networks and data safe.

Understanding the Need for Protection Against Cybersecurity Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Risks

Cybercrime is ramping up in the United States, and the consequences are growing more dire. According to the 2023 Internet Crime Report published by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, potential losses resulting from all kinds of cybercrime exceeded $12.3 billion in 2023. The number of cybercrime complaints rose by 10%, and potential losses increased by 22% compared to 2022.


Many SMBs mistakenly believe that their organizations are less likely to be targets of cybercrime, making them even more vulnerable. More than 90% of all businesses worldwide are small or midsize, and they make up more than 40% of global economic activity. The 2024 Sophos Threat Report concluded that 75% of all cybercrimes are committed against SMBs – a sobering thought, and one that has spurred business owners to increase their cybersecurity risk management budgets. According to the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “Cybersecurity is about culture as much as it is about technology.” Which means small businesses also need to find ways to foster cybersecurity awareness and culture.

Common Consequences of Cybercrime

Cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and risks impact businesses in countless ways, but security experts agree that SMBs should take the following five consequences into account:


  1. Increased Cost and Loss of Revenue: Organizations impacted by cybercrime experience a wide range of costs, including those associated with increased insurance premiums, legal support, cybersecurity services companies, breach notifications, and even public relations expertise. Ransomware is especially heinous and costs an average of $1.54 million per incident as of 2023.
  2. Disruptions and Delays: Delays and disruptions can occur when cybercriminals infect systems or networks with malware or viruses, implement Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, or interrupt a company’s connection, preventing that organization from accessing vital cloud-based software.
  3. Damaged Reputation: Often, organizations that are victims of attacks must fight to rebuild a reputation of trustworthiness – and not only with their customers. Depending on the size of the organization impacted and the facts behind the attack, investors, shareholders, and even vendors may feel less than secure.
  4. Changes to Business Practices: Following a cybersecurity attack, companies may choose to rebuild their business practices from the ground up. For example, some have had to find ways to operate without storing their customers’ personal information, and others have completely shut down their online operations due to a lack of protection.
  5. Stolen Property: Intellectual property makes up many SMBs’ most valuable assets, and it may consist of marketing materials, concepts, and strategies. Many companies store some or all of their intellectual property in the cloud, making it more vulnerable to attacks.

What Are Cybersecurity Threats?

Cybersecurity threats can be defined as any malicious act that aims to disrupt a digital presence. These threats can impact individuals, families, and companies of all sizes, and they often seek ways to steal, damage, and destroy data or disrupt operations. Some of the most common threats include unauthorized network access, damage or theft of network assets or intellectual property, or any kind of malicious attack that involves sensitive data.

Different Kinds of Cyber Crime

The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants identifies four kinds of cyber crime that can present significant risk to organizations. Understanding the types of cybercrime and the intent behind them can help organizations implement powerful and proactive cybersecurity measures to keep themselves safe.


Hacking occurs when an unauthorized party or group gains access to an organization’s network. It is common among criminals who want to gain access to intellectual property, disrupt a company’s operations, or inflict some sort of damage on the organization. Cybersecurity services companies implement network monitoring, firewalls, and intrusion protection to thwart hackers.


Phishing typically targets one or more employees of a company, and it involves impersonating a legitimate company or brand to entice an individual to share sensitive information. Phishing has grown incredibly sophisticated in recent years, but company-wide training can help employees identify and avoid phishing attempts.


Malware is any malicious software that a cybercriminal introduces into a computer or network. Examples include viruses, Trojans, and ransomware that often spreads throughout the organization quickly. Malware can be used to slow or stop operations, steal valuable information, damage networks and devices, or demand payment.

Identity Theft

Criminals often target SMBs in an effort to gain access to clients’ or customers’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birthdates, bank account numbers, and more. Sometimes, they steal vast volumes of data and illegally sell it to scammers; in other cases, they assume the stolen identities themselves.

Sources of Cybersecurity Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Risks

Cybersecurity threats come from many different organizations and sources, and each one has its own unique agenda. Understanding the intentions of each group can help SMBs and managed security service providers implement the proper safeguards.


  • Criminal Groups: Countless global criminal groups employ large numbers of cybercriminals who work together to steal information or money. Most commonly, they utilize phishing and social engineering to achieve their means.
  • Hackers: Hackers can be individuals, small groups, or large organizations that maliciously compromise or destroy sensitive data. They tend to use malware or network intrusion methods to gain access to data.
  • Hacktivists: A hacktivist is an individual or group using cybercrime to push a political, social, or environmental agenda. They frequently target governments or large corporations that have a significant impact on their chosen cause.
  • Organizational Insiders: In some cases, cyberattacks come from within the organization itself. These are often people who believe they have been treated unfairly, but it may also include people who have been paid by a criminal organization to gather sensitive information.
  • Corporate Spies: Industry or niche rivals sometimes use cybercrime to steal intellectual property, marketing materials, or other types of information. They may also disrupt operations, shut down networks, or perform actions that harm their rivals’ reputations.
  • Governments: Governments or leaders of other nation states may use cybercrime to spy on or maliciously attack other countries. Targets may include treasuries, power grids and other infrastructure-related services, or the personal information of high-ranking officials.
  • Terrorists: Terror attacks against governments aim to steal or destroy classified information, plant incorrect information, or disrupt government activities. Many terrorists execute cyberattacks to spread fear, hate, or propaganda.
  • Data Brokers: Criminal data brokers pay hackers, insiders, spies, and others to collect information without consent. They often operate in the Dark Web, where they sell that data to the highest bidder.

Trust a Local NYC Cybersecurity Services Company to Protect Your Business

No organization is immune to cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and risks, regardless of its size, time in operation, or number of employees. Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and while it’s true that large companies are the primary targets of financial theft or ransomware, SMBs are the victims of three-quarters of cyberattacks that can lead to disruptions, theft of data, and serious reputational harm in the United States.

Tech Alliance is a local NYC cybersecurity services company that provides exceptional protection tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Instead of taking chances with your business’s data, assets, and networks, you can rely on our trusted managed cybersecurity services to keep you safe.