The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that the Internet Crime Report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showed that the cost of cybercrimes was $2.7 billion in 2020 alone. The 791,790 complaints in the report from the American public in 2020 involving reported losses of more than $4.1 billion marked a 69 percent increase in total complaints from 2019.
Cybersecurity remains a critical issue for companies of all sizes, even small businesses. There remains an impression among some small business owners that computer security for small business is more of a larger company issue, but the truth is that small businesses are just as likely to be victims of attacks as larger corporations.
Challenges small companies can face with regards to cybersecurity can include a basic lack of awareness about cybersecurity issues, poor cloud security and loopholes on mobile devices. Even small businesses need to invest in small business network security measures to make sure that valuable data is not compromised by hackers.
Why Small Businesses Need Cybersecurity
In March 2022, Forbes reported that between January 2021 and December 2021, researchers at cloud security company Barracuda Networks found that, on average, an employee at a small business with fewer than 100 employees would experience 350 percent more social engineering attacks than an employee of a larger enterprise. Furthermore, Bentley University reported that a study by security software company Symantec found that 36 percent of all targeted attacks were recently made against businesses with less than 250 employees.
There are multiple reasons why small businesses make such attractive targets for criminals. These include:
- Customer and employee information. Even small businesses can be rich when it comes to the amount of information they have on file about not just their customers but also their employees. Hackers may be seeking not only credit card numbers or bank account information, but also Social Security numbers, medical records and transaction histories. Even when small business network security information is not particularly useful to hackers themselves, they can sell it to third parties.
- Lack of internal resources. In May 2022, CNBC reported that its CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey of over 2,000 small business owners showed only 5 percent of small business owners reported computer security for small business to be their biggest risk right now. In other words, many small businesses are not investing in teams dedicated to cybersecurity because many of those duties are instead assigned to employees who are handling other daily duties.
- Financial challenges. The simple truth is that small businesses simply do not have the money within their small business network security budgets to invest in large-scale computer security for small business efforts. The failure to spend on consultants, resources and training can all leave systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
- Failure to train. Cybercriminals know how to exploit the weakest links in a small business chain, so lower-level employees at small businesses often become ideal targets for cybercriminals because they have not been properly trained or monitored. Employees who are not given the proper knowledge about cyberattack risks become the most likely to download malicious content or fail to secure their login credentials.
Evaluating Your Cyber Risks
Cyber risk is defined by the Institute of Risk Management as meaning “any risk of financial loss, disruption or damage to the reputation of an organization from some sort of failure of its information technology systems.” Common kinds of cyber risks can include company website failure, theft of sensitive or regulated information, compromised credentials, hardware damage and subsequent data loss, natural disasters that could damage servers and, of course, malware and viruses.
The first step in evaluating why small businesses need cybersecurity solutions for small business will be identifying all of your assets. These may include information such as data, hardware, software, technical security controls, physical security controls, information storage protection, functional requirements, information flow, information security policies, information security architecture, network topology, environmental security and personal support.
You then need to identify possible threats as well as what could go wrong. You could be concerned about data leaks, insider threats or service disruption. Analyze the risks and determine their potential impact before determining and prioritizing the risks. You can create a five-by-five risk table that ranks threats from very severe to negligible on one side and rare to highly likely on the other.
Best Cybersecurity Practices for Small Businesses
You will need to begin by devising a data security plan. You should review this plan on a regular basis and make all necessary changes as your business continues to evolve.
- Training. Make sure all of your employees are trained on cybersecurity issues. Make sure they know to follow cybersecurity protocols at all times and limit their access to critical files when it is not necessary.
- Use stronger passwords. Ensure employees are using strong and unique passwords, as many hackers are able to access files simply because of weaker passwords. Two-factor authentication is a very good idea, as well.
- Back up your data on a regular basis. Use multiple methods to do this when possible, and make sure you keep a regular cadence.
- Software protection. Install firewalls to prevent malware attacks. Do this on every single device, including smartphones.
- Invest in cyber insurance. This can be one of the surest bets that you will be protected in the event of an attack.
When thinking about why small businesses need cybersecurity solutions for small business, it’s helpful to have a partner who can guide you.
How Can Taylored Systems Help?
Taylored Systems has been creating customized cybersecurity solutions for small businesses based on the specific needs of clients for more than three decades. We serve companies of all sizes, including small businesses.
You can either call us at 317-776-4000 or fill out an online contact form to talk about the services we can offer. While we are located in Noblesville, Ind, we regularly serve businesses in Anderson, Carmel, Columbus, Fishers, Indianapolis, Muncie, Westfield and many other communities in central Indiana.