Most small business owners believe they are too small to be a target for cybercriminals, but statistics show otherwise. According to a recent report by Verizon, 61% of data breach victims are small businesses. While it’s crucial to put some security programs in place, your biggest asset in fighting cybercrime is your employees.
Small businesses are the ideal targets for cybercriminals. They tend to have less security in place than a larger enterprise and more assets than typical consumers.
Due to their complacent attitude toward cybersecurity, small businesses invest less in the issue. Because of this, they become easy targets. They’re also more likely to pay a ransom when hit by ransomware. At the same time, if a small business works with a larger enterprise, they can inadvertently open a back door to entry into a larger organization.
How Would a Cyber Attack Impact Your Business?
When a business is hit by a cyber attack, they can expect business disruption, loss of data, loss of credibility, financial loss and legal liability. The exact impact to your organization will vary based on resources attacked, such as your business data or your financial accounts. For smaller business, a cyber attack generally costs $84,000 and $148,000 (Source:UPS Capital), and this doesn’t include the cost of notifying customers and partners and any harm stemming from that. More than 50% of businesses close within 6 months of a cyber attack, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.
Employees Are Your Biggest Risk (& Asset)
Humans are by far the biggest cause of security vulnerabilities. While an IT staff is crucial in case of an attack, your business will not be protected until everyone is educated about cyber risks and participates in keeping your business secure.
Technology and security staff implement essential safeguards, participate in the development of security related policies and respond to any cyber incidents.
Security responsibilities must be part of each employee’s job, from your office manager, marketing manager to your accounting and HR staff. Everyone should have security responsibilities, and your business will not be secure until everyone does their part.