Cyber threat to small business is real and continuing to grow. Everyday each of us hear of the multiple incidents of cyber attacks hitting businesses around the country. Whether the attacks are criminal in nature, initiated through state actors, or from a lone hacker sitting at their computer, they each can have a devastating effect on a small business.
Creating a cyber security culture in your business involves more than providing tools like firewalls and virus protection software. Experts uniformly agree that educating employees about the threats of data breaches and cyber theft is a critical step in protecting your company's invaluable data.
But while most small businesses understand the need for a comprehensive data security program, many still believe hackers are only interested in going after big companies, and therefore may not take all the precautions that they should. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:
Almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack.
More than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses.
More than 75 percent of employees leave their computers unsecured.
As much as 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses that experience a data breach go out of business after six months.
A breach or attack can result in a significant loss of income, particularly if the small business involved lacks cyber liability insurance. If news of the breach goes public, the damage to the business's brand may be insurmountable.
Leaving your business data exposed to cyber attacks is simply too great a risk to ignore. The best defensive strategy is creating a cyber security culture in the workplace that greatly tips the odds of success in your favor.