Data shows that 83% of the top retailers in the United States have online vulnerabilities. Even beyond the world of major retail, over half of all small businesses in the country are also at risk with little to no cybersecurity in place.

Vulnerability scanning is a means of analyzing and discovering any flaws or weaknesses in the systems and software used by small businesses. This is an essential step in maintaining operations, especially as not enough enterprises are equipped to handle attacks. There are a few alarming reasons this should be a top priority for SMEs throughout the country.

Cybercrime is on the rise

SMEs need to be prepared because cybercrime is continuously rising. The pandemic brought about a new age of criminal activity and malicious attacks online, and this has only continued in its wake. Some of the most common attacks have been ransomware and phishing. Although Windows 10 has built-in ransomware protection as a feature, attackers still exploit vulnerabilities in software, downloads, and websites.

Researchers have found that cybercrime has seen exponential increases year over year. Analytics predict that by 2026, there will be an almost 150% rise from 2022. This makes scanning a must every year to prevent any unexpected attacks.

Attackers are exploiting new vulnerabilities

With new technology built to improve business operations also comes new threats. As attackers become more sophisticated and their tools more robust, it becomes much easier to find new exploits in systems. So, it comes down to beating them at their own game and keeping your own protective measures updated.

Vulnerability scans are a good starting point to see what areas need to be updated or improved. There are plenty of resources to do so, with the likes of Comodo software allowing users to enable automatic updates for programs and virus definitions.

Breaches hurt your brand

Your reputation is also at stake when you suffer from cyberattacks. When customers get affected thanks to vulnerabilities in your system or they are unable to make use of your services because you are facing a breach, then this hurts your brand perception and reliability.

This risk rings especially true in tech-heavy states. If you look at the numbers, California has the highest losses through cybercrime in the country by a long mile. With more than $2 billion in losses, the state has ranked at the top of lists on breaches from various monitoring bodies. The last thing you want is to be another entry into this list, especially as it can be extremely difficult to recover as a brand.

Different resources can be affected

The way software is utilized these days, it’s not just one area of your business at risk. Essentially, the entire system can be brought down from one overlooked vulnerability. They can hit you from different angles and get sensitive data to use to their advantage.

States that are seeing lots of huge businesses move in are now becoming even more lucrative for cybercriminals, with their attacks trickling down to SMEs in the same area. For instance, 22 towns in Texas saw business and financial operations come to a standstill after a huge ransomware attack.

After Tesla and Oracle moved to the state, it jumped up to 4th place in the most losses through cybercrime in the country. The best registered agent in Texas is meant to preserve business continuity through ups and downs, but even they could be a vulnerability as attackers start exploiting other areas of management beyond the IT infrastructure. This means even commercial services need to make vulnerability scans a consistent priority to keep all their bases covered.

Small businesses are being targeted

A report by Barracuda Networks reveals that SMEs actually experience more frequent cyberattacks than major corporations. They are being targeted specifically because they usually have fewer resources to deal with such attacks. It has gotten to a point where even the FBI has started expressing concern over the wave of cybercrime against America’s small businesses. Although the majority of polled business owners aren’t worried about becoming victims of cybercrime, it’s important for them to make vulnerability scanning a regular endeavor if they want this confidence to be warranted.

Data loss can be a death knell

One of the worst things that can happen out of a cyberattack is data loss. Approximately 60% of small businesses go out of business after less than a year after a major data breach. Vulnerability scanning is not just a potentially helpful tool but a crucial resource in protecting your business from closing down. There are plenty of accessible tools like Nessus or OpenVAS that can be used depending on your budget and security needs.

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