Cybersecurity is a threat that keeps getting bigger every year. With the amount of wealth accessible online, and cyber criminals constantly finding new and creative ways to get to it. Consumers now each have an average of 3.2 connected devices. That’s a total of approximately 7 billion devices total (according to techjury.com), which means 7 billion targets for a hackers…
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The world cybersecurity market, all those people committed to protecting us from these cyber threats, is growing. It will likely reach $167 Billion in 2019, and almost $250 Billion by 2023.
As the lines between physical and digital become more blurred, criminals are chasing the money through cyberspace. Unfortunately, often leads to people like you and me, as well as small businesses like yours. Today let’s look at the top three threats of cybercrime for small businesses and what you can do about it.
- Human Error – Your people are your last line of defense in the protection of your business. With so many devices connected, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, smart devices in our homes…All of these points of connection make us vulnerable to cyber-attacks. As your employees connect with others while connected to your network, this potentially exposes you to some of these risks. One company, KnowBe4, is committed to helping you reduce, if not eliminate, the human error factor. According to their website, 91% of successful data breaches are result of spear phishing attack. Spear phishing is email that appears to be from a trusted source, and coaxes the recipient to provide sensitive information like login information. KnowBe4 provides companies with a way to do a phishing test, so you can identify any risks and then educate your employees on safe practices to help keep your data safe.
- Cost of time – According to a University of Maryland study, a cybersecurity breach occurs, on average, every 39 seconds. The average malware attack can cost a company an average of 50 days in recovery time. This includes recovering lost data, replacing and/or repairing compromised equipment, employee down time, and company down time. In addition to putting security in place to prevent an attack, companies are now taking steps to improve cyber resilience. For example, Mimecast, a global company with 12 offices around the world, is focused not only on security and employee education of threats, but also of limiting the damage an attack can cause, and increasing the speed of recovery from such an incident. Mimecast uses an approach that would benefit any company of any size. They first assess the current situation. This includes the vulnerabilities of current security protocols, as well as thoroughly anticipating any consequences of any security breaches. Once comfortable with the assessment, they formulate a plan to protect the company from as many of those security threats as possible. This includes security measures to protect company data and systems, educating personnel to ensure they are being vigilant regarding security, and exploring options to protect all web access points. After formulating a solid plan, they implement this plan as seamlessly as possible, to minimize disruption to your daily business and ensure your protection is in place. There is an old expression, “The best offense is a good defense” …in this day and age of increased security breaches at all levels of business, this expression is even more true.
- Cost of recovery – According to Federal Computer Week, cybercrime cost us $2.7 Billion in 2018. On average, it costs $80,000 to recover from a malware attack. This doesn’t include indirect costs, like lost time – which we covered in number 2. This does include the cost in productivity, as well as the services and you need to repair or replace your equipment. Also, the cost of IT consultants and lawyer fees to manage your recovery from a security breach. In some cases, the crime includes actual theft of profits and/or bank funds that you will need to to report and attempt to recover with your bank’s help. Even if the cost was half the average, only$40,000, can your business afford to take a hit like that? It is way more cost effective, and so much easier to recover, when you are protected.
You need to plan for your prevention and resilience. Whether you are a small business with less than 5 employees, or a larger business with hundreds or even thousands of employees, you need a solid plan to protect your business. It’s no longer a question of “if” a security breach will take place, it’s “when?”. The more prepared you are now, the lower the impact it will have on you and your business. An excellent first step is Cyber Liability Insurance. You will be pleasantly surprised how cost effective this can be, and how much it protects you. I encourage you to look to companies like KnowBe4and Mimecast, or companies like them, to be sure you’re protected. This takes a bit more time to make a plan and implement. In the meantime, you can have the perfect Cyber Liability Insurance policyin place, within hours, and be well on your way to protecting your company’s assets.