More Exposure, More Data, Weak Defenses
If you are a small or medium sized business and you think that you aren’t an attractive target for a cyber attack, think again. Cybersecurity threats are increasing. In 2015, there were 38% more security incidents than were detected the previous year (1) and 44% of small businesses have been amongst the victims.(2) Here are three reasons why cybersecurity threats should be a big concern for your small business.
Today’s business runs on technology so everyone in your company is most likely connected in some way. You have more computer users and more devices that are connected to the internet. Tablets and smartphones aren’t just for remote workers. These devices are used internally to interact with machinery and applications through an internet connection. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work might be convenient but can also take company information and communications outside of the safe perimeter of the corporate network.
Cloud Services Have Benefits and Risks
Company data travels through the internet on a regular basis through web based software applications that bring capabilities for all kinds of functions from simple file sharing to payroll and employee benefits administration. The flexibility, cost efficiencies and increased capabilities that cloud computing offers presents the same risks to data breaches, especially when employees bypass IT department security policies or do not perform sufficient due diligence when choosing services.
Businesses use and store more data than ever before -- client and vendor transactions, email communications, designs and blueprints, employee records, operational process data, and bank account information. More data means more cyber security threats to confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of business information. Data can be difficult to manage when it is stored throughout the company on different servers and PCs. IT may not have visibility to all data if employees or departments use third party systems for storage and collaboration. Compliance and privacy laws have labeled personally identifiable information as high risk data but retaining confidentiality is important for your competitive edge as well.
Between 2011 and 2015, there has been a steady increase in cyber attacks targeting businesses with less than 250 employees.3 Small and medium sized companies have not generally been investing in cyber security at the same level as enterprise corporations and have made themselves easy targets in other ways, too. Businesses have undervalued the data that they gather and store, and have not instituted policies and employee training to increase awareness of the ways that criminals will try to gain access.
Small Business Cyber Security is a Business Concern
Since 60% of small businesses that experience a cyber attack go out of business within six months of the attack, small business cyber security is a business concern and not just an IT issue. The costs associated with a cyber attack include lost revenue and productivity, fines and legal fees, and a damaged reputation. Start the cyber security conversation within your company with the guidelines contained in our E-Book