Small businesses equate size with risk. They think that cybercriminals will ignore most small businesses, and they think that because large enterprises, like Walmart and others, have more money, customers, intellectual property, trade secrets and data, they are more attractive to cyber criminals.
Small business owners couldn't be more mistaken, and that makes them even more vulnerable, because:
Most small businesses have no budget allocated for cybersecurity and have no plans to do so.
By having less money and employees than big businesses, SMBs have fewer resources to defend against cyber-attacks, and cybercriminals are very aware of it.
Think of it like this… robbing a small business, for the cybercriminal, is like robbing a house. Even though a mansion is likely to have items of more value worth taking, it is more likely to have a stronger, harder security system, so the burglar will most of the time chose a home with a simpler security system, sacrificing the amount of the robbery for a lower risk of being captured.
Cybersecurity does not have to cost an arm and a leg. There are many low-cost ways companies can protect themselves. One of the biggest, is moving IT services to the cloud, as they are more affordable and secure. Even something as simple as having a regular backup schedule of your files can be a major asset in the fight against cybercrime.
Most SMBs don't have dedicated IT Support.
Big companies have their own IT departments, that help protect them from cyber threats. In fact, more than 35% of SMBs state that there is no single function in their company that determines IT security priorities.
Companies without an IT department, should outsource IT to a third-party vendor, who will be able to provide expertise at a minimal cost, without the financial load of an internal IT department.
Small businesses have customers that are bigger than they are.
Many large companies have small businesses as vendors and partners.
Sometimes, those large companies ask their vendors to use internal IT systems in areas such as logistics or human resources. Those requirements allow cybercriminals to "walk in" right into the large corporation's systems, taking a piggyback ride on the small business. This is another big reason cybercriminals are targeting small businesses.
When you protect your company, you're also protecting your client's and providers' companies. Avoid accessing critical systems, from unsecured and/or unencrypted devices.
Small businesses don't train their employees.
Small businesses owners don't have time to spare. So crazy busy, that they most often than not, do not have time to closely train, educate or supervise their employees. This leads to employee negligence that can leave businesses vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Fact: Close to 80% of small businesses do not have an internet security policy in place for employees.
Fact: Over 60% of small businesses do not have policies in place regarding the use of social media in the workplace.
Fact: Most small businesses do not offer Internet/Email safety training to their employees.
Fact: Download of unauthorized internet applications onto computers and mobile devices is the #1 cause of data breaches in SMBs.
A little training may make a big difference. Start by making sure your employees are informed about the cyber risks your business faces, and involve them, so they play a proactive role in protecting their workplace.
Is your company taking any measures to protect itself from SMB cyber-attacks? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you desire information about how we can help secure your IT infrastructure and work with your personnel, to make your workplace, a safer one.