Never before has the threat from cybercrime been so widespread and constant. From 3.8 million breached records in 2010 to 3.1 billion in 2016, an increase of 3 billion for a 6-year period is staggering. And with a further increase of 11% of security breaches since last year, in total 67% in the last five years, it seems as if there is no end in cyberattacks on sight.
Cybercrime will cost the world annually $6 trillion until 2021, making it the fastest growing crime and the greatest threat to every company on the market. It seems that no matter how much you invest in cyber protection, hackers will find a way to infiltrate your systems. Especially if you are a small business.
Even though the most lucrative cyberattacks are those launched against huge corporations and digital giants like Yahoo, Facebook, eBay, etc., they do not happen that often. Believe it or not, the most frequent victims of hackers are small businesses, which were the targets of 43% of all cyberattacks until today.
Why are small businesses attacked so often?
This is because small businesses still do not perceive themselves as worth attacking, due to their size. Many are pretty much unaware of risks involved in handling all operations digitally even though 60% of businesses can ?t recover from an attack, closing after just 6 months. Larger companies have serious advanced cyber protection systems in place, making them almost impenetrable. This is why only the most elite hackers dare to breach their defenses and steal sensitive data.
Other hackers focus on smaller businesses because they don’t take cyber protection as seriously, like 66% of senior managers who don’t think their business will ever be targeted. The consequence of such unawareness is that the majority of small businesses, more precisely 60%, don’t have any kind of prevention plan against cyberattacks implemented nor do they know how to introduce it. This makes them the perfect victim.
So what should you do?
If you are one of those who until now did not take cyber protection of their business seriously but still haven’t experienced a data breach, you are amongst the lucky ones. This doesn’t mean you are untouchable and that you should continue running your business without a protection system in place. If you don’t know where to start, here are some initial steps you should take.
Determine the status of your business cyber protection
With any luck, you will have some kind of cybersecurity system in place but if not establish in which way your business is protected from cyberattacks at the moment. If all you have is an ordinary antivirus program and firewall, then you should introduce serious cyber protection.
Choose the best cybersecurity system for your needs
There a few options depending on how large is your business, which industry you operate in, what type of information do you process every day, etc. You could opt for advanced cyber protection software which would be maintained by a team of people you would hire, keeping the protection in the house. Or you could decide to source out your cybersecurity completely to a third-party service.
Educate your employees
Considering that human error represents the leading cause of successful cyberattacks (90%), your employees are your weakest link. So you should invest as much into training your employees and ensuring they are aware that next to hacking, a social attack is the most common form of a cyberattack.
Introduce a cyber protection policy
Having such a document in place, where you have outlined all the resources and actions intended for protecting your business, reassures your clients and customers that they are choosing to work with a company that takes data protection seriously. It also reinforces your employees’ sense of responsibility, making them pay closer attention to their actions.