You may only read about high profile data breaches in the news. But that doesn’t mean small businesses are exempt. Quite the opposite is true, as 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. And small businesses are vulnerable to the same kind of devastating attacks as large corporations, such as DDoS attacks, phishing attempts, ransomware and so on.
If you’re a first-time business owner or have recently founded a startup, you need a cybersecurity plan. It’s an oversight you can’t afford to make (both figuratively and literally). Here’s why:
1. Your Business is a Target
Hackers may be looking at your business like a snack they’re about to eat up. The trouble is, many small business owners adopt an “it’s not going to happen to me” mentality. Cybercriminals know this and that’s precisely what they want you to think.
Your business is a target – it can’t be stressed enough. Hackers rely on the fact that small businesses may not have the financial means or the right staff to cope with a cyber attack.
How do you resolve this fact? Accept that cyber attacks are inevitable these days. Treat cybersecurity as seriously as any other area of your business.
2. Not All Employees are Tech-Savvy
When you think about a cybersecurity breach, you imagine the perpetrator to be a dude in a hoodie typing a bunch of malicious code. But the truth is, the real threat could be on the inside. Data breaches are often the result of human error.
For example, an employee may be susceptible to a phishing scam, in which a cybercriminal persuades them to share sensitive information without them even realizing. Or it could be as simple as them leaving their devices unlocked. If they fall into the hands of the wrong person, this could pose a serious threat to your business.
When it comes to the human element, the best form of defense is prevention. So, be sure to equip employees with cost-effective cybersecurity tools. And implement training as soon as possible.
3. You May Not Be Able to Recover
A cyber attack could indeed serve a fatal blow to your business. This is due in large part to the costs associated with recovery. Cyber attacks cost small businesses an average of $53,987 per incident.
Why does a cyber attack cost so much? Ransomware is a common type of attack, where hackers lock your systems and demand a ransom to unlock them. Recovery costs may also include payment to replace damaged systems and stolen hardware, as well as cyber professionals’ fees. But wait there’s more…
Think about the additional costs you may incur as the byproduct of an attack. If client data is compromised, they may lose faith in your business. This is why so many small businesses fail to recover from cyber attacks.
One way to prevent this from happening to you would be to back up your data regularly. So, if you’re faced with something like a ransomware attack, you can recover your data easily. Furthermore, make recovery an essential component of your cybersecurity plan.
Yes, small businesses are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which are often the result of technological and human errors. Address both sides of the problem in your cybersecurity plan and you can reduce the risk of a cyber attack ruining your small business.