You may be familiar with stories of cyber attacks on large companies such as Sony, Adobe and Target, the truth is that small businesses are more likely to fall victim to hackers and cyber crime. Small businesses are vulnerable to many different kinds of cyber attacks — with cyber criminals target both technical weaknesses in the business’ systems and their employees. Phishing emails, where criminals attempt to obtain personal data and system log-in data in order to commit fraud, are the most common type of cyber attack on small businesses.
Why aren’t many small businesses prepared for cyber crimes? A lot of small businesses complain that the cost of mitigating risk is prohibitive. Other businesses assume that their small size will protect them, and believe cyber criminals are more likely to target bigger businesses with more money. Statistics show that this logic is false.
Here are a few statistics regarding cyber attacks on small businesses:
- 43 percent of cyber criminals attack small businesses.
- 14 percent of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks as highly effective.
- 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.
- 48 percent of data security breaches are caused by acts of malicious intent — human error or system failure account for the rest.
Small businesses report that:
- Only 38 percent regularly upgrade software solutions.
- Only 31 percent monitor business credit reports.
- Only 22 percent encrypt databases.
How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Crime
How can you protect your small business from cyber criminals? Here are a few ways to beef up your small business’ cyber security:
- Educate all employees on business identity theft. Implement employee cyber security awareness training. Cyber security awareness training can be offered face to face or online. Periodic phishing testing should be performed to determine the success of the training or to identify areas to focus on in future trainings.
- Many cyber attacks happen through phishing emails. If you suspect a message is a phishing scam, reach out through other official channels or methods (like using known phone numbers to call the person directly, contact their assistant, or even just speaking with the alleged requester face-to-face).
- Set up two-factor authentication with your bank for wiring money.
- Keep your computer software up to date — this includes the devices of employees that work from home.
- Secure your wireless network. All businesses should have password protected Wi-Fi with a unique username and password. You should change the default name and password that came with the router to something more secure.
- Set up Google Alerts for your business to keep an eye out on where your business name is popping up online.
- Protect yourself and your business with cyber liability insurance. Computer hacks, malware attacks, and ransomware are all bad news for individuals, small businesses, and large corporations alike.
Cyber Liability Insurance
While it would be nice if you had millions to invest in protecting your data and a team of cyber experts working to protect your systems, most people simply cannot afford that. It is so important to protect yourself and your business from cyber exposures with insurance protection designed to do just that. Protect yourself, your business and its customers and employees by taking steps now to reduce your cyber exposure and risks. Fill out this form for a complimentary consultation of your cyber liability risks. Learn more about how to reduce them, including being protected with cyber liability insurance in NYC!