Cyber Security Threats Against Small Businesses Continue to Rise, and Are Proving to Be Incredibly Expensive

By Justin | May 8, 2019

Did you know $133,000 is the median financial impact of a cyber-attack, including fines, downtime and other costs? In fact, the City of Portsmouth recently reported spending over $156,000 to clean up a Trojan virus that infected the city’s computer systems last year. As you can see, these national statistics include small and mid-sized organizations within our state. Your business is not excluded.

Not only are costs rising, but the threats are growing in creativity and number. Business owners are faced with new challenges like ransomware, sextortion, and numerous other phishing threats. Cyber criminals are now attacking from all directions like: email, web, phone calls and even internal employees.

All these different avenues into your computer network are known in the tech industry as the “threat landscape.” The threat landscape is the area that you must worry about securing, and with the continued development of the Internet of Things (IoT), this threat landscape is growing exponentially.

Consider how mobile devices, remote employees, wireless security cameras, Alexa-like devices and various other technologies have added to your organization’s threat landscape, increasing your exposure.

If you are part of the 79 percent of SMBs that do not have an incident response plan, or only have the minimum of anti-virus and a firewall (or worse – no protection at all), the risks of an incident are mounting against you.

High Value, Low-Cost Cyber Security Solutions to Consider

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report, cybercriminals are still finding success with the same tried and tested techniques, and their victims are still making the same mistakes. End users (the person using the computer), are still falling for phishing emails. This tells us that we need more of a holistic approach to security, it is no longer just an IT issue.

Executives must set business policies to clearly identify what employees should and should not be doing to protect company proprietary data. You must also incorporate security awareness training like simulated phishing campaigns and mandatory educational programs for your end users. Cyber security awareness training is a win/win for employers and employees.

Employees will understand and feel confident about what is expected of them, what to look out for, and what not to do at work, and at home. All of these security layers are high value, low-cost solutions for reducing your business’ risks.

Make Cyber Security Your Competitive Advantage

Third party vendors and business partners have long been a security issue for larger companies.

You may recall the infamous Target hack in 2014, the breach was traced back to their HVAC company. The hackers stole the HVAC company’s credentials to gain access to Target’s computer systems. Since then, small and mid-sized businesses have gotten a bad rap with larger enterprise companies and many consider SMBs too risky to do business with. In response, this presents an opportunity where you can use your superior cyber security practices as a selling feature. You can start winning opportunities with larger enterprise companies by highlighting your security posture, staying ahead of your competition.

Future Predictions

Future predictions for cyber security in 2019 include increased political legislation, and regulations to hold CISOs and CEOs accountable for their actions, or in this matter, their failure to act in implementing proper security measures.

The mounting costs of a data breach are far too high to delay a proper security review or consultation any longer. Previously, enterprise solutions were not available to small or even mid-sized organizations. However, innovative solutions are now available for the SMB Market.

Solutions such as managed SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) or a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) are readily available for businesses right here in New Hampshire. 2019 should be the year to prioritize your organization’s security.

If you can’t afford a data incident, then contact us today for a security consultation or to learn more about how Managed IT Services can help your organization.

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