A cybersecurity plan for your small business is the first line of defense from cybercrimes. With innovation, agility, and technological expertise being non-negotiable criteria for industry growth and success in the digital age, it is crucial for organizations to have a robust cybersecurity strategy that delivers round the clock protection against online vulnerabilities and threats.
Why Small Businesses Are ‘Easy Marks’
Traditionally, large companies and corporations are the more desired targets for cyber threats such as ransomware, phishing, hacking, data leakage, and corporate espionage/sabotage. But small businesses are far from immunity against hackers and cybercriminals. In fact, they are ‘easy marks’ because first, there is usually no sufficient budget to set up protective barriers and second, hackers are more likely to attack organizations with minimal defense capabilities.
Cyber attacks Are a Serious Risk
Cyber attacks are a serious risk for small businesses. It is less a question of whether the business is susceptible to cyber attacks and more about when cybercriminals will strike. Here are some key findings from small business cybersecurity statistics in 2020.
- Small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) spend an average of $7.68 million per cyber attack.
- More than two in five small businesses (43%) do not have any type of cybersecurity plan.
- Among victims of a cyber attack, 60% will go out of business within six months.
- In 2019, small businesses account for 28% of all data breaches.
- Phishing is the #1 cyber threat for more than 30% of small businesses.
- Global cyber attacks on small businesses have increased by 66% and are becoming more sophisticated.
- Malware is the most expensive form of cyber attack for small businesses.
- It would cost small businesses at least $15,000 just to figure out what kind of cyber attack happened.
- Victims of cyber attacks will experience at least eight hours of downtime due to a security breach.
- Three out of four small businesses don’t have personnel to handle cybersecurity plan.
Impact of Poor (or Lack of) Cybersecurity Plan for Small Businesses
1. Loss, Damage, or Compromise to Electronic Data
Not having a cybersecurity plan can result to a few security issues to electronic data on computers. A virus can render records useless, incomplete, or easily accessed by unauthorized users.
2. Loss of Income
Cyber attacks can force business operations to shut down for several hours or longer. If these result to data corruption or damage to computer equipment, there might be a need to purchase additional hardware or software. Delay of digital services and unforeseen expenses usually translate to income loss.
3. Privacy Lawsuits and Customer Loss
When data breach occurs, customers might sue the company for failure to protect its data. Poor (or lack of) cybersecurity plan can potentially drive customers away or lead to expensive lawsuits.
4. Damage to Reputation
Even a single cyber attack incident can seriously damage a company’s reputation. Customers wouldn’t want to be associated with a brand or business with no robust cybersecurity strategy in place.
5. Risk of Regulatory Fines
Business operations in countries bound by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and other pertinent cybersecurity laws can be subjected to possible investigations and penalties depending on the type of cybercrime that occurred within the company.
Easy Steps to Strengthen Cybersecurity Plan
According to the U.S. SBA (Small Business Administration), there are a few easy steps to strengthen a small business’ cybersecurity:
1. Password Protection: Use strong passwords, regulate password sharing, and update passwords regularly.
2. Antivirus Software: Equip all computers with cutting edge antivirus software and install updates automatically.
3. Data Protection: Regularly back up the data on all computers and prevent access or use by unauthorized individuals.
4. Employee Training: Employees must be properly trained to use good browsing practices, to protect sensitive customer and vendor information, to spot phishing emails, among other capabilities.
5. CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Approval: If unsure of your system’s vulnerabilities, hire a certified CISO to assess your current system’s defense against cyber threats or provide you with a robust cybersecurity plan to better protect your clientele, network, and business.
Want to mitigate risk from security breaches and cybersecurity threats? ClinkIT Security offers Certified Chief Information Security Officer services to help small businesses implement critical security policies, procedures, and protocols. Secure, Optimize, and Synchronize your Cybersecurity today.