Cybercrime has quickly become today's fastest-growing form of criminal activity. In fact, it is projected to cost businesses $5.2 trillion worldwide within 5 years, according to Accenture.
Many small businesses assume that small businesses are an outlier to this growing problem, and believe that hackers are only going after the "big guns" instead of targeting small to medium size businesses. This is an incorrect assumption, as 43% of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses while only 14% of small businesses are prepared to defend themselves from a breach.
Not only are cyberattacks growing in occurrence, the consequences of these attacks continue to grow as well. Digital incidences are now costing businesses of all sizes $200,000 on average. According to insurance carrier Hiscox, 60% of victimized businesses go out of business within 6 months of a cyberattack.
According to Keeper Security's 2019 SMB Cyberthreat Study, 66% of senior decision-makers at small businesses still believe they are unlikely to be targeted by online criminals and 6 in 10 have no digital defense plan in place whatsoever.
Every Organization is at Risk to Experience a Breach
No matter the industry, every small business is vulnerable to a cyberattack. With cyberattack activity growing at an exponential rate, it is becoming not a matter or if an attack will happen but when.
It is now more important than ever for small businesses to have a security plan in place not only to prevent an infringement in the first place but also to successfully mitigate an attack.
For Small Businesses, the Damages are Difficult to Overcome
How would your business fare if it took the hit of a $200,000 security breach? What would happen if you had multiple breaches? For many smaller companies, the damage can add up quickly and be catastrophic.
This is particularly true when a threat infiltrates a system and goes undetected, which is entirely possible when a network monitoring and automated threat detection mechanisms aren't in place.
Not only are there monetary damages to the targeted company from the breach itself, there are also legal fees, compliance penalties, loss of reputation, and loss of customers to consider.
These consequences can easily (and often do) bankrupt a small business. Organizations are constantly at risk and must adopt a comprehensive security strategy to prevent a cyber threat, mitigate damage should an incident occur, and adopt risk management policies.
Steps Small Businesses Should Take to Increase Security
Daily Backups - you need the ability to fully recover your information if your system is compromised
Install and Update methods to protect against network attacks - this includes firewalls and encryption methods
Conduct ongoing vulnerability testing on your networks to close gaps and address weak points
Use multifactor authentication to reduce chances for an unauthorized individual to get access to your network
Provide regular training for employees, including real-world scenarios, to help them identify threats and respond appropriately