Small business owners seemingly never have a quiet moment. Concerns about inventory levels, customer support needs and operational logistics are always front and center, and never seem to go away.
But when was the last time you evaluated your small business’ cybersecurity?
Just because you haven’t suffered a cyberattack doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear – in fact, a virus always seems to find its way into a company’s network when everyone least suspects it.
Small Businesses Are Vulnerable
While most newsworthy cyberattacks seem to follow large corporations, recent studies show hackers aren’t shying away from growing small businesses either.
A recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed some alarming insights about the state of cybersecurity – most importantly that 55 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses have suffered a cyberattack in the last year.
Insider threats were found to be the root cause of entry for the most popular hacking methods, which were web-based phishing and social media schemes. Furthermore, Ponemon reported many respondents simply didn’t have the technology to detect and defend against viruses and malware. In short, lack of employee expertise and cybersecurity tools were a driving factor behind businesses suffering a cyberattack.
Perhaps most alarming of all was the fact that over one-third of companies didn’t have one person solely dedicated to cybersecurity, but instead it was a team effort. This method doesn’t give businesses absolute certainty over their network security.
An IBM and Ponemon joint study found the overall cost of a data breach reached $4 million in 2016, an almost 30 percent increase since 2013. This is due to breach notification costs and lost consumer confidence, among numerous other factors, and is a cost many can’t afford to pay.
Improve Your Small Business’ Cybersecurity
You can’t grow your small business if you’re worrying about the looming threat of a cyberattack. The potential for viruses or ransomware finding their way into your network is no longer a matter of if, but rather when they will.
If you haven’t already, take the time to sit down and evaluate the following:
- Employees: How well-trained is your staff at identifying and avoiding potential phishing attacks? According to Recode, your protocols aren’t all to blame – insider threats are the easiest way for hackers to get into a network. Make sure workers are properly trained to spot threats, as well as that safeguards are in place to prevent the spread of malware and that all endpoints are secure.
- Technology: How much faith do you have that your current cybersecurity system can proactively detect and defend against a hacking attempt? Better question: Do you even have cybersecurity in place? The Ponemon study reported many companies are turning to IT managed services companies as a means of securing their data and network, without breaking the bank.
- Backup: Consider the worst – a virus slips through your defense and everything is lost. How much of that information can you get back? Make sure you’re continuously backing everything up.
- Scalability: Can your cybersecurity platform keep up with your small business’ growth? Success can mean more stores, more employees and more loose ends for hackers to find their way into. If your cybersecurity provider can’t scale with your company, it may be time to look elsewhere.
- Support: As Ponemon reported, over one-third of small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have one person solely responsible for watching over the IT network and making informed decisions – who makes those calls for your company? If you don’t have an expert, consider turning to IT managed services. They not only install and integrate your cybersecurity tools, but they actively monitor your network and provide advice and feedback as well.
Cybersecurity isn’t always on the top of small business owners’ minds, and that’s the problem. Hackers target them because there’s usually a lack of protection in place to safeguard data.
Don’t make the news and lose customers because you thought it wouldn’t happen to you. Talk to a Motiva expert today to learn how our IT managed services program can provide the cybersecurity your small business needs to fearlessly operate without the looming threat of a cyberattack.