People never think that it will happen to them. Sure, they see the reports – 50 million-plus bundles of user data compromised by a Facebook breach; the billing information of more than 2 million T-Mobile users hacked by a mysterious malicious entity – but companies like those are massive, monolithic entities in American commerce. They’re decidedly big fish, not like you and your small business. According to a recent JLT-Harvard Business Analytic Services survey, more than half of small business owners remain locked into this line of magical thinking, blissfully unaware of the threat cybercrime poses to the health of their organization.
Low Hanging Fruit
We hate to burst the bubble of the happy-go-lucky majority, but the reality is that this optimistic attitude just does not square with the statistics. The incidents may not make the news, but small businesses are being targeted – and breached – by hackers at an astounding rate. In fact, the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that close to half of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack and that 60 percent of the companies that succumb to one of these attacks shut their doors within six months. They state that instead of zeroing in on Fortune 500 corporations, hackers actually prefer to swoop in on the little guy, with 70 percent of cybercriminals explicitly targeting small to medium-sized businesses.
Evolving Threat Landscape
Yet according to a Paychex survey, 68 percent of small business leaders aren’t worried about cybersecurity despite data from Hiscox indicating that more than seven out of ten small businesses are woefully unprepared for a breach. Of course, it’s understandable that the average small business owner shirks their cybersecurity responsibilities. It’s the kind of problem that’s so complicated that it’s tempting to sweep it under the rug.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, breach tactics become more sophisticated, and the software & methodologies designed to keep out criminals also require constant improvements. In a world far removed from the days when buying a product and installing it into your network was enough, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the complexity and breakneck pace of advancing cybersecurity best practices. Our biases make the possibility of a hack seem remote, while our limited resources make the cost of protection appear too high to even consider.
Leaving Cybersecurity to Chance
The first step to getting savvy in 2019 is to accept that cyber-attack isn’t some unlikely crisis, but a virtual inevitability. It’s a tough pill to swallow but leaving it to chance is like flipping a coin where a “tails” outcome results in your business shuttering for good.
Securing Your Future
Luckily, though an attempted hack is almost guaranteed, there are dozens of steps you can take to prevent it from doing any damage. Chief among these should be to insource a managed security service provider (MSSP) with a background in protecting against hacker threats to take the reins on your cyber security as quickly as you can. When auditing your internal security measures, it’s crucial that you regularly get an outside opinion from a trusted Cybersecurity source to ensure you’re covering all your bases. Your internal IT department or IT support company’s assurances that “they’ve got it covered” are certainly reassuring, but to truly patch all the holes in your security barriers, you’ll need more eyes and expertise on the problem. You might imagine that such a partnership must be prohibitively expensive, but they’re typically more reasonable than you might think. Not to mention that when the very survival of your business is on the line, it just makes sense to budget accordingly.
The statistics paint a picture of small business owners as underprepared, unaware, and disturbingly vulnerable to the whims of cybercriminals hiding just out of view. Don’t be another one of the millions of small business owners forced to shell out thousands as a consequence of wishful thinking. Wake up to the dangers of 2019, arm yourself against them, and secure the future of the business you’ve worked so hard to build.
The 7 Most Critical Business IT Security Protections
Free Report outlines the 7 Most Critical IT Security Protections Every Orlando Business Must Have In Place To Protect Against Cybercrimes, Data Breaches & Hacker Attacks
Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and hackers are setting their sights on small and medium businesses who are “low hanging fruit.” Don’t be their next victim! This report will get you started in protecting everything you’ve worked so hard to build
Concerned about the security status of your business IT network? We can help… Call us to schedule A FREE Cybersecurity Consultation. Aurora InfoTech is an Orlando-based premier managed services provider specializing in both network security and information technology. Give us a call today at (407) 995-6766 to discuss your network security concerns and to learn how we can help you secure your business IT network.
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Roy Richardson is a co-founder, Managing Partner, and CTO of Aurora InfoTech LLC, a leading Cybersecurity & IT consulting firm in Orlando, Florida. He is also a co-author of "Hack Proof Your Business", a cybersecurity guide for business owners & executive leadership.
Roy has 20+ years of executive management & engineering experience in the Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Telecommunication industries. The vast experience he gained over the course of his career has given him a unique perspective that allows him to relate to a broad spectrum of business & technology challenges.