The pandemic can be a great distraction. While attending to all the chaos to keep your business standing is already an uphill climb, you could be unaware of the substantial threat cybercriminals bring to the table. In 2020 alone, small businesses suffered the most in terms of cybersecurity breaches. As reported, there was a 424% increase in cyber attacks for small businesses that year.
It seems that when every small business is busy fighting for survival, heartless hackers have made a killing out of the glorious opportunity. Pundits detail 60% of small businesses that were attacked went out of business after six months. Truly, those statistics are never too small to look deeper into.
The problem is that many small business owners don’t mind. Though the majority are worried about compromising their customer’s data, less than half of small business owners put a priority on cybersecurity. They think that hackers won’t waste time and effort after petty cash since they’re but small fry.
But if the life of your small business is on the line, isn’t it but rational for you to prioritize it? The good news is that there are proven steps your small business can take to minimize cybersecurity threats. Indeed, an expert take on the matter should bid you well and save you precious dollars, not to mention your enterprise.
Never Underestimate Hackers
The biggest regret many small business owners have is when they could have done something about cyber threats but chose to cast a blind eye. Whether you close your eyes or don’t, hackers are hell-bent on taking down small businesses. A quick look at how devastating these attacks are should be telling.
CNBC data show that hackers choose to target small businesses at least 43% of the time. While there may be a hundred and one reasons why hackers do so, experts point out only 14% of these businesses have readied themselves against such attacks.
However, what should capture your attention is that the average data breach costs about $3.86 million. Think about it. What will happen to your small business if you don’t protect yourself against such attacks?
Then, there’s a case for small business contracting. If you are not cyber-protected, how will you be able to expand your clientele to more well-paying customers and institutions?
A concrete example here is when you want your small business to supply services for the Department of Defense (USDOD). As the department acts to protect the citizenry in general against external and internal threats, good cyber hygiene is required from your organization. In this regard, you must pass the level 3 CMMC requirements of good cyber management to be considered a worthy supplier.
To a large extent, passing up such a glorious opportunity can be hugely disadvantageous on your part.
Back Up Everything
These days, hackers are reaping big bucks thanks to ransomware. You could be held hostage by such an attack, and you will be unable to take hold of your IT system in the process without paying a ransom. An IBM study details that there has been a 3,000% increase in the occurrence of such crimes since 2016. Worse, the pandemic has only made these cybercriminals bolder, targeting medical and health institutions while everyone is fighting the virus.
A good remedy for this type of attack is to back up all your data. That way, you won’t become a sitting duck for every hacker itching their fingers on your cash.
Make the Most of Tabletop Exercises
Far too often, employees’ lax attitudes are at fault when it comes to a cyber breach. As wily as these hackers are, they use every trick on the book to access the data they need. Social engineering is one such method of tricking your own employees surreptitiously to give up key passwords or access phishing emails.
But you can’t just sit around waiting for the next hacker to attack your business. It’s paramount, therefore, that you do tabletop exercises. Your company will benefit from simulations of a real cyberattack.
Think of it as a cyber drill. But by conducting tabletop exercises, you expose various loopholes in your IT system. This allows you to fix those cyber holes and strengthen your system. Doing such an exercise on a regular basis (albeit unannounced) is a great way for your organization to move forward.
Your Cybersecurity Budget Can Leave You Exposed
Another key area you need to look into is your budget. If you put a premium on your budget and minimize allocation for cybersecurity, you could be waiting for a severe issue to blow up in your face.
A good measure to know how much to allocate for cyber protection is to know how much you’ll lose if your data is breached. As always, forewarned is forearmed.