“The bigger they are, the harder they fall” isn’t always true. The fact is that when a big corporation gets hit with a cybersecurity attack, they can typically withstand it. They’ve got the resources – financial and otherwise – to handle what gets thrown at them. Even if an attack results in a shutdown of their business for a period of time. Even if an attack results in them paying a ransom to some mysterious entity behind a keyboard. Even if an attack steals funds from their bank account.
Small and mid-sized business don’t have those luxuries. You likely don’t have a “ransom fund” on hand to cover cyber attacks, right? Being shut down by an attack for a few days or a week can make the difference between profitability and bankruptcy. Getting the one-and-only bank account cleaned out can likewise shut the business down forever.
Yet so many small and mid-sized businesses lull themselves into a false sense of security – thinking they can’t possibly be targeted by hackers. Are you one of them?
Have you ever said anything like this when you talk to yourself about cybersecurity?
- What would a hacker want with me? I don’t have anything hackers want.
- I’m too small; nobody can find me.
- Nobody cares about the data I have!
- I don’t have any data anyone wants.
- I have anti-virus software installed on my computers, I’m good.
- It’s too hard to keep up with all the updates.
- Security software just slows down my computer.
- I’m careful to only browse safe websites.
- We don’t have the money to afford needless expenses.
Or maybe you haven’t had THOSE thoughts (good), but you’ve had these:
- My people know not to click on links they don’t know. We’re safe.
- People who work from home automatically have secure internet access.
- None of my employees would ever give anyone their password over the phone.
- Sure, sometimes an employee works at the coffee shop. So what?
Do any of these kinds of statements sound familiar?
If you think your businesses is beneath the notice of hackers, you are completely wrong! The misconception that small businesses do not have anything cyber criminals want is exactly what makes them the perfect target. Under-protected small businesses are the victims of nearly 70% of attempted security breaches!
Add to that that many security breaches occur due to employees inadvertently allowing them… by clicking on links that happen to have embedded malware, or logging in to your corporate network through an unsecure network (like at the coffee shops or the airport), or even when an employee accesses corporate email from their not-password-protected phone… all are risks that DO get exploited.
Here’s the sad truth: It is estimated that 60% of small businesses hit with a breach will close in the year following, with 90% closing by the end of the second year.
In the immortal words of Ben Franklin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is especially true for small and mid-sized businesses. Getting caught by hackers – whether they find you deliberately or opportunistically – can shut you down permanently. Why take that kind of risk? Make sure you’ve got the right protections in place and that your team is fully educated on the risks of cyberattacks. It could save your business.