You know how hard it is running a smaller company.
Balancing growth, cash flow, employees, and more is so time consuming that it’s hard to blame small and medium business (SMB) owners for overlooking IT security.
However, attacks are on the rise, and small businesses have become the new favorite target for attackers.
Before you find yourself dealing with a data breach, ransomware, or computer worm, it’s time to take a fresh look at your business and identify the small investments that can offer significant protection.
Though it might seem like cybersecurity for small business is a luxury, you’ll soon see why it’s something you shouldn’t ignore.
Growing Number of Attacks
These days, increases in internet crimes mean most companies should expect attacks, no matter your size.
As evidence of attacks on the rise, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) notes a 7% increase in claims, with 2021 losses exceeding $6.9 billion.
And, it’s a trend likely to continue.
In fact, the World Economic Forum even declared cyberattacks and data fraud/theft as the #6 and #7 likeliest risks facing the world today.
Adding to concerns, the Ponemon Institute also estimates a 1-in-4 chance of a data breach. To put that in perspective, that’s 12.5 times more likely than the 1-in-50 chance of a home burglary.
It’s a troubling time to be sure, making cybersecurity for small businesses all the more crucial.
The SMB Target
In US House of Representatives testimony in 2015, experts noted that 50% of SMBs have been the victims of a cyberattacks.
Making matters worse, 60% of these victims fail due to the consequences of the attack.
Today, experts estimate more than 76% of businesses have been attacked, with the cost of a single breach for small businesses averaging nearly $150k.
A $150k loss, while smaller than the $4.24 million global average, would devastate most SMBs.
And, the large number of SMBs create a rich target field for attackers everywhere.
Cybercriminals also direct 43% of all online attacks at SMBs. In fact, employees of businesses with less than 100 employees now receive 350% more social engineering attacks than those employed by larger companies.
So, why are small businesses so frequently targeted?
Well, attackers know that only 3 of 10 U.S. employers provide even annual cybersecurity training.
And, typically, cybersecurity for small businesses tends to be weaker than larger corporations, since they typically have fewer resources to spare.
Attackers can also leverage any network compromise among your larger business partners, with nearly 1 in 6 infections in 2021 originating from supply chain compromise.
Cybersecurity for Small Businesses on a Budget
Sometimes, security seems like a never-ending black hole that could consume all your time and money.
But, in reality, cybersecurity for small businesses doesn’t need to be that way.
For example, many major attacks stem from nation-states, going after critical infrastructure or national entities.
But, as an SMB owner, you probably don’t need the complex defenses to guard against these sorts of strikes.
Most cybersecurity for small businesses revolves around simple competency and security basics.
A short conversation with a security expert can help you identify which of your assets are most at risk, and which steps will offer the most impact.
Start by covering the following basic requirements, and then consider how to improve your security with additional steps.
Basic and Next-Step Examples
Consider just five aspects of IT security: exploit prevention, email defense, authentication, firewalls, and endpoint protection.
Once you enact a basic level of security, then identify what might justify obtaining one or more next levels of defense.
- Basic = Apply updates and security patches to operating systems and key resources
- Next Step = Check for misconfigurations and overlooked issues with vulnerability scans and penetration tests.
- Basic = email filters to block spam and known phishing attacks
- Next Step = Advanced email server setting or email
- Next Step = employee phishing training to reduce human error
- Basic = Complex passwords of more than eight characters
- Next Step = Multi-factor authentication, at least for key users (admins, executives, etc.)
- Basic = Review and ensure firewall settings only allow minimal port access
- Next Step = Deploy advanced firewalls with packet stiffing and other advanced security features
- Next Step = Deploy port knocking or other techniques for key resources
- Basic = Deploy a good antivirus
- Next Step = Deploy an advanced Endpoint Detection and Response solution
Keep in mind that the next level of defense doesn’t always cost much more your basic defense.
Additionally, the nominal cost to obtain the next step can pay off indirectly through reduced risk of breaches.
Or, it can even lower your cybersecurity insurance premiums.
Take the First Steps to Success
No matter the size of your business, it’s important to recognize the unseen risks you face every day.
And, the most step to improved cybersecurity is your commitment to improve.
Even if you have few resources to spare and haven’t even covered some of the basics, you can still develop a path to better security.
Whether you have only few hundred to spare or several thousand, there’s almost always a way to increase your peace of mind.
All it takes is the motivation to get started.
If you’re not sure where to begin, there’s no need to stress.
Contact Ideal Integrations at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and schedule a no-obligation conversation to discuss your needs and concerns.
We’ve worked with businesses just like yours to develop a custom security solution to fit you’re your budget and your needs.