“I have anti-virus protection on my business computer, that’s enough.” It is flawed thinking to believe that anti-virus software will protect your online business from Cyber-attack. Statistics show that in 2018 small online businesses were victims of cyber-attack to the tune of 47%
Furthermore, only 52% of businesses have a cybersecurity strategy plan (Hiscox 2018). There may be a mindset that small business are not large enough to attract cybercriminals. The more important factor may be that small businesses lack the technological savvy to understand the total threat cybercrime imposes. Many small or start-up businesses run on tight budgets and feel cybersecurity is too big of an expense out of the box. After all, the news is full of accounts where the mega-giant corporations are hit with cyber-data theft involving millions of customers.
You feel that your small business is not large enough to warrant cybersecurity. You do not provide a cyber-attack policy or even obtain protective software, except an anti-virus and a firewall.
Your company does business online and there are hundreds or even thousands of customers, clients, and, subscribers to your online business. Your data base is loaded with sensitive information belonging to these customers, clients, and subscribers and your business gets cyber attacked.
Consequences of Cyber Attacks:
The data on market accounts, customer, and client personal data can be stolen or altered that results in damage to your company’s operational functions. The global cost of recovering from a cyber-attack is at $1.67M and climbing. The average cost of recovering from a cyber-attack is $86,500.
Businesses reporting loss of operational function or productivity was at 54% after a Cyber-attack. Those who reported a loss of service was at 45%. Data theft accounted for 33% of those reporting cyber-attacks.
(Source: The 2018-2019 Global Application and Network Security Report.)
After a cyber-attack clients and customers who thought their data was safe may pull out and go elsewhere, you lose customer/client trust. Losing customers/clients account for 34% of reported losses (2018-2019 Global Report).
What to Do
Learn how to identify threats to your company’s data base. Provide training for each employee who uses a company computer to recognize cyber threats and how to respond to them. Be mindful of cybercrime, know what data cyber criminals are after and apply the required security to protect it. Employees are a key factor to your business success, they can also be the weak link in the cybersecurity chain.
Ensure employees adhere to a company sign-in and sign-off policy. Backup all messages sent between employees. Using a password manager is one way to control company passwords. Use a two-step authentication process, a password and a code sent to an employee’s cell phone that can be entered to ensure security.
Best Cyber Security Practices
To stay a head of the crowd, the crowd of businesses that are cyber attacked, hire an IT guy who specializes in mitigation and risk management. The IT guy can conduct risk audits to determine what is at risk then to help set a cybersecurity policy in place that will ensure compliance by your employees.
You might consider obtaining cyber liability insurance to reduce the high cost of Cyber-attack recovery. Cyber-attacks to small or mid-sized businesses are 62% of all cyber-attacks, your business is not too small to be noticed.
(Source: Property Casualty 360)
Cyber-attack liability insurance comes in different forms, First Party or Third party. It is in your company’s best interest to contact an insurance agent who specializes in cyber insurance. The best protection comes from insurance that is geared for your kind of online business.
This article is a quick look at what you need to do to protect your online business large or small from cyber-attack. There are many more things to do to prepare against cyber-attack:
- Online courses for you and your employees.
- Hiring tech savvy IT guys.
- Software that protects against cyber attack
Just to mention a few. Cybercrime is not going to go away anytime soon, get protected and stay protected.