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How to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Attacks in France

Small businesses in France have become increasingly vulnerable to hacking, malware, and other internet-based invasions. In fact, France was in the Top 10 Cybercrime Hotspots for 2016, and is emerging as a hub for malware and hacking. This is also the result of large companies allotting funds to increased cyber security measures, while small businesses have a hard time funding dedicated IT departments.

 

France was in the Top 10 Cybercrime Hotspots for 2016, and is emerging as a hub for malware and hacking. This is also the result of large companies allotting funds to increased cyber security measures, while small businesses have a hard time funding dedicated IT departments

 

It may seem a world away, but the globalizing effect of the internet makes cyber security issues in France everyone’s problem. Connecting yourself to businesses in France allows hackers and other scams to invade your organization, whether you directly operate in France or not.

 

From 2015 to 2016, half of all US small businesses were breached by hackers, according to a 2016 State of SMB Cyber Security Report. Especially in a technologically advanced nation like France, cybercrime is getting better, faster, and bolder. Companies need to better understand the online world, act faster, and defend themselves more boldly from invisible attacks. Here are the most common attacks and how to prevent them.

 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of attack that threatens to publish a victim’s data or continually block their access to it unless a ransom is paid, hence the name. This data could include account information, transactions, and even information from other businesses you may be working with. It generally invades through email attachments as a “Trojan Horse,” or hidden virus in a seemingly innocent file.

 

Ransomware hits businesses large and small. France recently experienced a large scale cyber attack of its largest bank, BNP Paribas, and was invaded not through email attachments, but by the software traveling between computers without user interaction. This method is a less common, but much more dangerous form of the software.

 

France recently experienced a large scale cyber attack of its largest bank, BNP Paribas, and was invaded not through email attachments, but by the software traveling between computers without user interaction

 

 

Prevention

For starters, small businesses need to inform their employees about the possibility of these attacks. Any suspicious emails, attachments, or downloads can pose a risk and should be avoided until an IT professional can take a look. Once the malicious software has been identified, measures should be taken to reduce its accessibility to your business, such as blocking mailing accounts.

 

However, those that travel between computers with no user activity are a bit trickier. A general rule, you need to be proactive to prevent these attacks.. Small businesses need to put more stock into defending themselves from cyber attack, making it more difficult for these issues to occur in the first place. This could mean increased security, or hiring an IT expert, among other methods for reducing vulnerability before a problem arises.

 

Fraud

Fraud has taken the internet by storm. It’s not all identity theft and bad checks anymore. Sophisticated methods of web-based fraudulence are flooding France’s small business market, and there aren’t any signs of it slowing down. According to a recent study, 8 out of 10 French companies experienced at least one attempt at fraud in 2016, with the majority of that coming in the form of online fraudulence.

 

8 out of 10 French companies experienced at least one attempt at fraud in 2016, with the majority of that coming in the form of online fraudulence

 

Online fraud takes a variety of forms, but some are more dangerous to small businesses than others. When communicating online, or even over the phone, attackers are posing as suppliers, customers, and even bankers, making this type of fraud particularly dangerous to international small businesses. French hackers disguise themselves as business partners, and accept payments abroad unbeknownst to the sender or their bank.

 

Prevention

Reviewing your banking information and statements regularly is a sure way to stop the bleeding. Keeping your passwords strong and safely configuring your computer will at the very least hinder potential hackers from accessing your information. Human intervention in the form of IT professionals and financial experts are useful tools, but ultimately are reactive rather than proactive prevention methods.

 

Risk management and pre-emptive measures must be taken, in the form of risk mapping exercises, and researching clients, customers, and business partners thoroughly. However, fraud does happen, and insuring against fraud is another option that is both proactive and ensures your business can survive such an attack.

 

DDOS: Distributed Denial of Service

DDoS attacks involve a user or team of users flooding a service or IP address with false requests, which puts pressure on the server that runs that service, causing it to crash. Think of a small door that 20 people are trying to get through at the same time That’s essentially what happens during a DDOS.

 

Though small businesses don’t necessarily run an online service, many are dependent on them to operate. These services can include communication platforms, payment services, and even entire online banking systems that account for high-profile web servers and therefore are most frequently targeted. France is known for its share of large scale DDoS attacks, with one website recently recording a 1 terabyte attack that crippled operations.

 

Prevention

Denial of service hacks are, at the very least, easy to detect, as the IP address that the attack came from can be traced back to the user. However, in DDoS attacks, the data flooding is distributed across multiple users and IPs, making it near impossible to stop an attack that has already started by halting a single source. So, the best form of prevention is just that, stopping an attack before it starts or, more ideally, making it impossible to be attacked.

 

France is known for its share of large scale DDoS attacks, with one website recently recording a 1 terabyte attack that crippled operations.

 

By using services like Veem that avoid vulnerable banking institutions and payments methods altogether, DDoS attacks are much less likely to reach you. With Veem, your money doesn’t go through the US or French banking system, and travels directly from your business to another at a favorable rate of exchange. No hidden fees, no security breaches, and your payments are tracked online using our user-friendly dashboard. Don’t open your business up to attack. Keep your payments safe and secure.

 

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