Is your small business prepared to meet the cybersecurity challenge? Small-to-medium-business owners often underestimate their vulnerability to cybercrime. Headlines focus on major corporate data breaches with huge paydays, but studies show that more than half of cyber-attacks target small businesses. This may be partly attributable to the fact that hackers use opportunistic approaches to gain entry to computer systems, and smaller companies simply have more vulnerabilities than larger ones. And while smaller businesses may not have data at the scale of enterprise-level organizations, they still have valuable business data, such as customer information that could be used in identity theft. Cybersecurity is a growing area of concern for small business owners, yet most of them have not taken steps to protect themselves.
Studies show that more than half of business cybersecurity attacks target small businesses.
One of our new clients was referred to us through an organization that we both partner with. This client is one of North America’s largest and most prestigious associations in the field of commercial real estate. They were searching for a new IT provider after experiencing issues with their current support. The most critical issue was that their email had been hacked. The primary entry point to access small business networks is still email, specifically, email attachments. Fallout from such an incident is twofold; aside from the potential financial damages, an organization’s reputation is on the line after a security breach. Prompt problem resolution is crucial. When our client discovered the email breach, it took their provider three days to figure out how to fix the problem. Confidence level in their IT support was badly shaken as a result.
Prevention, protection and mitigation of cyber risk
Our recommendations included putting together a written disaster recovery plan and complete network documentation, part of an overall plan to proactively manage technology planning and user support as opposed to managing on an ad hoc basis. We found that they were also behind on their security updates and patches, and again suggested an ongoing management and support plan to stay on top of that. Though the techniques cyber criminals use are ever-evolving, having an articulated cybersecurity strategy and plan goes a long way in advancing small businesses’ ability to meet the cybersecurity challenge.