Even the smallest business isn’t immune from the threat of cybercrime. Are you doing enough to protect your business from becoming a victim?
The ransomware panic caused by WannaCry and Petya affected tens of thousands of computers throughout the world. However, these attacks were just one part of the latest wave of an ever-increasing number of sophisticated cybercrimes that companies are being forced to deal with every day.
It seems that every time you open the newspaper there are stories about major corporations such as Yahoo, Verizon or Taobao being victimized by hackers. But digital criminals aren’t only targeting large companies with deep pockets, they go after the little guys as well. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make up the bulk of hacking victims. Experts estimate that these organizations suffer more than 4,000 cyberattacks every single day.
If that doesn’t scare you, taking a close look at your company’s cyber security should. The Denver Post reported that approximately 60 percent of the small and medium-sized businesses that suffer a cyberattack never recover, and are out of business within six months. This is a shocking statistic—And it’s something that I share with our clients when talking about protection from cybercrime.
Preventing Cyber Attacks Must Be a Top Priority.
I agree with the statement from Ginni Rometty, the Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Corp., “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”
Unfortunately, two-thirds of SMBs don’t agree with us, and the majority of them don’t have adequate safeguards in place to prevent an attack. This means they’re tempting targets for cyber criminals.
Businesses that are victims of cyberattacks stand to lose a lot of money. Juniper Research predicts that by the end of 2019, online crime will cost companies more than 2 trillion dollars. Currently, the average small business that falls victim to hacking loses around $690,000. Mid-sized businesses wind up paying more than 1 million dollars to clean up after an attack. That’s a money that most don’t have.
Even worse than the initial cost of recovering from a cyberattack is the possibility of legal action by customers or clients who have had their information compromised. Combine that threat with the risk of being investigated and fined by governmental regulators, and the bill for a cyberattack has the ability to cripple most companies.
Besides all the direct monetary damage, a cyberattack can ruin a business’ reputation.
Growing a reputation takes years, and just one data breach can ruin the trust you’ve worked so hard to build. Thomas Ordahl, Chief Strategy Officer at Landor Associates, said a company’s reputation is the driving force behind growth, and, “It is also the asset that when compromised… is least easily fixed.”
If you believe your business’ current cybersecurity plan is inadequate, now is the time to start developing a better one before it’s too late.
Five Things You Must Start Doing Today
While a comprehensive cybersecurity plan can take a long time to implement, there are several things you can do start doing today to make your company safer from cyberattacks. Start with these five tips:
- Talk to your employees. Mostdata breaches are caused by untrained employees. Make sure your team knows how to keep your company’s data safe by avoiding common dangers like opening attachments from unknown senders, improperly disposing of sensitive information, or using simple passwords.
- Maintain up-to-date hardware and software. Developers release security patches whenever they become aware of vulnerabilities. Make sure all of your computers and applications are updated regularly.
- Review your outside vendors. It’s very common for smallbusinesses to use third-party vendors for services like payroll or web hosting. If you do, make sure that all of your outside vendors have a comprehensive security plan in place to prevent hackers from accessing your private data.
- Back up your data nightly. You should always backup your data to an offsite, secure location. The increased number of ransomware attacks make frequent backups of critical data essential. You can back up your data manually or use a managed backup service.
- Use tough encryption. While state and federal law requires businesses to use encryption to protect the sensitive information of customers, they should expand their use of encryption to include information that’s not covered by compliance laws.
While no preventive measure is 100 percent effective, the more you protect your business today, the less likely you’ll wake up to a cyber nightmare tomorrow.
The IT professionals at SmartMetrics in Toronto have the expertise to protect your business from cybercrime. Contact us for a complimentary review of your security needs. (647) 494-0176 firstname.lastname@example.org