Small and medium businesses are at an increasing risk for cyber attacks. In fact, cyber security research indicates that 43% of all data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses; yet, these are typically the same businesses that have the fewest resources dedicated to cyber protection. Cyber security threats undermine business goals and erode customer confidence – just one successful cyber security incident can ravage a small business.
So what can small businesses do to stay safe from cybersecurity incidents? The answer is straightforward: Take control.
By taking control of its unique cyber security needs, a small business can tailor its preparedness to stay ahead of potential threats, thwart attacks, and build cyber resilience. But that can be a challenge; cyber security tools and techniques are a moving target. It’s a lot of work to stay one step ahead of data breaches, misconfigurations, insecure interfaces, account hijacking, and other malicious activities. Despite the complexities, it’s important to recognize that there are steps that can be taken to put a small business “at the ready” for cyber security incidents.
Are you looking for ways to take control of cybersecurity on behalf of a small business? Here are just a few steps you can take:
Make the case to your business’s decision makers that an investment in cyber security can save the business time and money. Budget constraints are almost always a factor when it comes to finding the financial resources to support cyber security for small businesses. Many decision makers don’t realize the risks, and it can be especially helpful to relate risk in the context of their own products and services. Also, show the value in dollars: if you take the time to explore how a specific investment can spare a specific number of staff hours and/or block an event that could cost a specific amount of money in business interruptions, it becomes more and more clear how security shields the bottom line. A great tool in making the case is a Vulnerability Assessment – identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities in your small business.
Engage in basic awareness training. It’s important to ensure all of the business’s employees are trained and kept up to date regularly on the latest threats in the cyber world.
Create written security policies and computer network documentation. Policies and procedures provide crucial guidance when you and your employees need it most.
Obtain cyber-security insurance. This kind of insurance safeguards your small business from cyber incident losses.
Tap into experts who can deliberately design your cyber-protection plan to the needs of your business, and act as a partner in your company’s protection.
The truth is, so many businesses just don’t have the staff time and expertise to prepare and carry out the steps above, particularly small businesses.
There’s also peace of mind that comes from having a trusted partner on such a significant part of your operations. Experts who know the ropes are key.