Small business owners worry about sales, cash flow, competitors and sometimes government regulation, but perhaps a bigger concern should be cybersecurity.
A recent study by Accenture found that 43% of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses and that only 14% of SMBs are prepared to defend against the attacks.
The failure of SMB leaders to properly assess the threat of a cyberattack appears to be a big part of the issue. Only 40% of SMBs have a plan in place to defend themselves against digital attacks.
An organization that does not have a defensive plan in place will respond more slowly when an attack occurs, thereby increasing the impact and cost of the incident.
High cost of cyber attacks
The longer a bad actor is present on a network without detection, the more entrenched they can become and the more damage that they can cause.
The cost impact of an attack increases exponentially with the number of days the attack remains undetected. On average, cyber threats go undetected on SMB networks for 101 days.
The costs associated with a cyberattack come from a variety of different sources.
First there is the expense of hiring external experts to investigate and remediate the attack, applying necessary security controls and notifying regulators and affected parties about the incident.
In the end, a single cyberattack costs SMBs an average of $200,000. This hefty price tag can wreak havoc on the financials of a small business, but it’s only part of the story.
With the deluge of recent data breaches, consumers have become more conscious of cyber threats. An organization’s ability (or inability) to protect sensitive consumer data has become a key factor in purchasing decisions.
The direct and indirect costs of a cyber attack, coupled with loss of reputation and customer goodwill can be crippling. In fact, 60% of SMBs close within 6 months after being victimized by a cyber attack
Protecting SMBs against cyber attacks
A recent study conducted by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) revealed that many small business owners lack sufficient time to devote to cybersecurity, believe they can’t afford professional IT solutions or simply don’t know where to begin.
The first step in protecting SMBs against cyber attacks is implementing a change of organizational culture.
Many small business leaders think their business is too small to be an appealing target for a cyber criminal. They are disinclined to spend time and money preparing for a cyber threat that they do not believe is real.
As long as this attitude persists, SMBs are unlikely to allocate adequate resources to defend against a cyber attack.
When small business leaders champion cybersecurity efforts, the importance of this initiative filters through employees as well.
99% of cyber attacks involve some level of human interaction, so acknowledging and understanding cyber risk can go a long way toward protecting the organization.
Another important element of cybersecurity for SMBs lies in the protection of sensitive data. This includes maintaining strong passwords and limiting access to connected equipment as necessary. Safeguards should also be put in place to guard against theft of laptops and other connected devices.
The average small business lacks the financial and staffing resources of a large enterprise.
A robust security solution that has easy plug-and-play functionality and an affordable price point is ideal for an SMB.
Attila Security’s GoSilent Cube is an all-one security solution (enterprise-grade firewall and VPN) that requires no special team for set-up and configuration. GoSilent is available off-the-shelf and is readily scalable to match business growth.