Statistics indicate that 43% of all cyber-attacks target small businesses, and 91% of these are through social engineering schemes. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks because they have the weakest cybersecurity protections. But don’t worry; if your business is under-prepared for cyber-attacks, here are five things you can do to improve your cybersecurity posture.
Accenture research shows that only about 14% of small businesses have built enough resilience to defend their IT infrastructure. This unpreparedness can have far-reaching implications, including disruptions in everyday business operations. That is why you need to perform a formal risk assessment to establish:
People are the weakest link in any given cybersecurity structure, and for good reason. Three hundred thousand new malware programs are developed daily, with the vast majority delivered by email. Most employees fall for the trap and click on these malware-loaded emails that impersonate their colleagues and bosses. The malware then enters the system and starts wreaking havoc in ways that cannot be easily detected.
You must ensure your staff can identify common hacking attempts such as phishing or social engineering, and malicious file attachments. There are plenty of online educational resources you can use to train your staff on cyber awareness. Some of the courses are free.
Most general liability policies do not cover losses incurred in cyber-attacks. Online attacks can be as devastating as theft or a natural calamity. IBM reports that the current cost of a cyber-attack has increased 15% in the last three years to $4.45 million.
Cyber insurance can help you transfer some of this financial risk to your insurance provider. Depending on the policy, the coverage typically includes:
Attackers can inflict heavy damage on your business by compromising its data. A 2023 Cyber Security Breach Survey showed that 32% of enterprises in the UK reported a data breach over the last 12 months. Remember when hackers posted on the dark web data associated with 700 million LinkedIn customers? Or the fiasco that followed the exposure of Facebook’s two datasets from its applications to the public internet.
Data breaches can affect even the largest companies, leading to the loss of sensitive information. You can safeguard your data by backing it up regularly off-site or on the cloud.
Your cyber security measures should target risks from malware, spyware, misplaced information, guessed passwords, and software flaws. To give your business a basic level of protection against such threats, you can:
Expanding your business operations is pointless if you are vulnerable to cyber threats that can destroy everything overnight. To avoid financial and reputational damage, use the above five tips to prepare for an attack. Remember, cyber security is an ongoing effort that requires consistent attention and adaptation to changing threats.