Why Cyber security is important to small and mid-size businesses

Written by Kevin MabryBusiness

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Why Cyber security Should be Important to businesses of all sizes

Small and mid-size businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for more than half of all private sector jobs. Yet, despite their importance, SMBs are often the target of cyber-attacks. In fact, 60 percent of all cyber-attacks target small businesses.

Why are SMBs such a popular target for hackers? There are a few reasons. First, small businesses often have fewer resources to devote to cybersecurity than larger companies.

They may not have a dedicated IT security team or the budget to purchase expensive security tools. And SMBs may not be able to afford to hire a cybersecurity expert. Second, small businesses tend to have fewer security measures in place than larger companies. As a result, they are often easier targets for hackers looking to gain access to sensitive data or steal credit card information from customers.

Security experts often recommend that small businesses follow security best practices, such as:

Performing regular vulnerability scans of their network and systems. Testing for weaknesses before a hacker does is the most effective way to prevent a breach. Performing regular vulnerability scans of their network and systems. Testing for weaknesses before a hacker does is the most effective way to prevent a breach. Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

The cost of cybercrime

As the world increasingly moves online, so do the risks that come with doing business in the digital age. Cyber security is important to small and mid-size businesses because they are just as susceptible to cyber-attacks as large businesses, but often don’t have the same resources to protect themselves.

A cyber-attack can result in loss of data, decreased productivity, and reputational damage, any of which can be devastating for a small business.

Investing in strong cyber security measures is essential to protecting your business from attackers. Cybercrime can cost business owners anywhere from $2 million to $6 million, depending on the size of their company. Cyber insurance is an affordable way to help protect your business from cyber-attacks and other security threats.

The impact of cybercrime

As the world progresses, so does the technology. Businesses are no longer limited to physical space and paper documents. Now, businesses store important information on computer systems and the internet. This makes businesses more efficient, but it also comes with new risks. Small and mid-size businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks because they often lack the resources to invest in strong cyber security.

A cyber-attack can be devastating for a small business, leading to lost data, decreased productivity, and even legal trouble. Cyber attacks are also a growing problem on the global scale. The World Economic Forum reported that cybercrime cost businesses and governments $445 billion in 2015, up from $3 trillion in losses in 2013.

Cybercrime is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next three years. The report says the growth of cybercrime will be driven by the increasing use of mobile devices, cloud computing and social media. But the impact of cybercrime is not limited to monetary losses.

In 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that more than half a million people lost their identities due to cybercrime. Additionally, the FBI received 2. 4 million complaints of cybercrime in 2015. That figure has increased by 300 percent since 2005.

Stolen credentials are the most common form of cybercrime, accounting for nearly half of all reported cases in 2015. In 2015, the FBI received 2. 4 million complaints of cybercrime in 2015. That figure has increased by 300 percent since 2005. Stolen credentials are the most common form of cybercrime, accounting for nearly half of all reported cases in 2015.

What type of data breaches effect SMB’s

SMB’s are often the target of data breaches because they typically have fewer resources to devote to cyber security. This can result in serious consequences for the business, including loss of customer confidence and revenue.

One type of data breach that can be particularly devastating to SMB’s is a ransomware attack. This is where hackers gain access to the company’s systems and encrypt their data, demanding a ransom for the decryption key.

If the company is unable to pay or does not have a good backup system in place, they may lose all of their data. This can be devastating for a business, as it may lose critical customer or financial information.

Another type of data breach that can be harmful to SMB’s is a phishing attack. This is where hackers send emails that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or service provider.

Cost of a data breach

In recent years, the cost of a data breach has increased substantially. A study by IBM found that the average cost of a data breach in 2018 was $3.86 million. This is a significant increase from the $3.52 million average cost in 2017. The study also found that the cost of a data breach varies greatly depending on the size of the company.

For example, small businesses (those with less than 100 employees) incur an average cost of $2.7 million per data breach while large businesses (those with more than 500 employees) incur an average cost of $8 million per data breach.

The increase in the cost of data breaches is due to a number of factors, including the increasing sophistication of hackers and the growing use of cloud computing and mobile devices. The study also found that the cost of a data breach varies greatly depending on the size of the company.

For example, small businesses (those with less than 100 employees) incur an average cost of $2. 7 million per data breach while large businesses (those with more than 500 employees) incur an average cost of $8 million per data breach.

Top 5 industries effected by data breaches

According to a study by the National Cybersecurity Alliance, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Furthermore, 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a data breach. These statistics are alarming, and they highlight the importance of cyber security for small and mid-size businesses.

The industries that are most affected by data breaches are those that handle sensitive information, such as healthcare and finance. In the healthcare industry, patient data is often compromised in data breaches, which can lead to identity theft and fraud. In the finance industry, customer financial information is at risk in data breaches, which can result in loss of money and damage to credit scores.

Other industries that are often impacted by data breaches include retail, education, and government.

How can Cyber Security Awareness Month help

As the October Cyber Security Awareness Month comes to a close, small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) must remember the importance of cyber security and protecting themselves from online threats. Here are three ways that SMBs can benefit from paying attention to cyber security:

1. Be aware of the latest threats: Cyber criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. By paying attention to cyber security news and updates, SMBs can stay one step ahead of the attackers.

2. Implement strong security measures: Having a robust cyber security strategy in place is essential for any business, but it’s especially important for SMBs who may not have the same resources as larger companies. SMBs can benefit from researching the latest cyber security trends and learning about how to implement strong security measures for their business.

3. Encrypt sensitive information Encrypting company data ensures that any sensitive information stored on a business’s servers is safe from prying eyes. SMBs can encrypt their data using a program like BitLocker or VeraCrypt, or they can use a cloud service that offers file encryption.

4. Implement two-factor authentication Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to a business s network by requiring users to verify their identity through a second channel, such as a text message or phone call.

What are some threats to Cyber Security

Cyber security should be important to all businesses, but small and mid-size businesses are especially vulnerable to attack. They may not have the resources or expertise to defend themselves against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

One of the most serious threats is data breaches, which can occur when customer or employee information is stolen from a company’s database. This can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and other problems for both the business and the individuals affected.

Another threat is malware, which is software that is designed to damage or disable computers. Malware can be used to steal data, destroy files, or even take over a whole network.

Phishing attacks are another type of cyber threat that businesses need to be aware of. These attacks typically involve an email that looks legitimate but contains a malicious link or attachment.

Protecting your business

In recent years, cyber-attacks have become more sophisticated and common, costing small and mid-size businesses millions of dollars each year. Cyber security is the practice of protecting computers, networks, and data from unauthorized access or theft.

It is important for businesses to invest in cyber security in order to protect their confidential information, customers’ personal data, and avoid costly downtime. There are many ways to improve cyber security, such as keeping software up to date, using strong passwords, and backing up data. What is a cyber security threat?

A data security threat is any malicious software that can cause harm to a computer, network, or data. Some examples are phishing scams, viruses, and malware. Malware is short for malicious software like adware, spyware, worms, Trojan horses and ransomware.

Some malwares can steal personal data or cause computers to slow down or become unstable. Phishing scams are emails that pretend to come from a credible company, like Amazon or Apple, and ask for personal information. Some worms, such as the Conficker worm, can infect thousands of computers at once.

cyber security

Top 12 cyber security solutions for SMB’s

In the wake of major data breaches at companies like Target and Equifax, small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are wondering if they are next. With limited resources, these businesses may not have the in-house expertise to prevent or recover from a cyber-attack.

Solution #1: Employee education and training

Small and mid-size businesses are increasingly the targets of cyberattacks. This is because hackers know that these businesses usually have fewer resources and are less likely to have robust cybersecurity defenses. As a result, it’s important for employees of small and mid-size businesses to be properly educated about cybersecurity risks and how to protect themselves and their employers.

There are a number of ways to educate employees about cybersecurity. One is to provide training on specific cybersecurity threats and how to identify and defend against them. This type of training can be delivered in person or online and should be tailored to the specific needs of the company and its employees.

Another way to educate employees about cybersecurity is to make sure that they are aware of company policies and procedures related to security, such as password requirements or acceptable use of company systems.

Solution #2: Firewall protection

As the world moves increasingly online, cyber security becomes more and more important, especially for small to mid-size businesses who may not have the resources of large corporations. One way to protect your business is through a firewall, which can help to keep out malicious software and hackers.

Firewalls come in both hardware and software form and can be either physical or virtual. They work by creating a barrier between your internal network and the internet and can be customized to fit the specific needs of your business. Firewalls can be an effective way to protect your business from cyber-attacks and should be part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy.

Solution #3: Data encryption

In today’s digital world, data encryption is more important than ever to ensure the safety and security of your information. Here’s a quick overview of what data encryption is and why it’s so important for small and mid-size businesses.

What is data encryption? In simple terms, data encryption is the process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This is done using a mathematical algorithm and a key, which can be used to decrypt the encrypted data.

Why is data encryption important? Data encryption is important because it helps to protect information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. In the case of small and mid-size businesses, data encryption can help to protect sensitive customer information, financial records, and other critical business data.

How does data encryption work? When data is encrypted, it is transformed into an unreadable format using a mathematical algorithm. A key is used to encrypt the data. In order to decrypt the data, you must have this key. How can I use Encryption? You can use encryption in a couple of ways: File Systems You can use file systems or operating systems that support encryption.

Solution #4: Intrusion detection and prevention

As the world increasingly moves online, businesses must do everything they can to protect themselves from cyberattacks. This is especially true for small and mid-size businesses, who may not have the resources of larger companies to fall back on in the event of an attack.

One of the most important tools in protecting a business from cyberattacks is intrusion detection and prevention.

Intrusion detection systems monitor a business’s networks for signs of suspicious activity. If an intrusion is detected, the system can take steps to prevent it from happening, such as blocking the offending IP address or cutting off access to sensitive data. Intrusion detection and prevention are essential components of any comprehensive cyber security strategy. By investing in these tools, businesses can protect themselves from costly and damaging attacks.

Solution #5: Virtual private networks

A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. VPNs are often used by businesses to protect sensitive data, but they can also be used by individuals to keep their browsing history and online activity private.

There are many benefits of using a VPN, including increased security and privacy, access to blocked websites and content, and bypassing internet censorship. However, it is important to choose a reputable VPN service and connect to a server in a country with strong privacy laws.

Small and mid-size businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which is why it is essential to invest in strong cyber security measures. A VPN can be an important part of your cyber security strategy, helping to protect your data and keep your business operations running smoothly.

Solution #6: Patch management

In recent years, cyber security has become a major concern for businesses of all sizes. However, small and mid-size businesses are often the most vulnerable to attacks, due to their limited resources. Patch management is one of the most important aspects of cyber security, and it’s crucial for small and mid-size businesses to have a plan in place.

Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, installing, and verifying patches for software and hardware. It’s a critical part of keeping systems up-to-date and secure. Without patch management, devices and applications are left vulnerable to known exploits.

There are many patch management solutions available, ranging from simple tools to complex enterprise solutions. Small and mid-size businesses should carefully assess their needs before selecting a solution.

Solution #7: Antivirus and Anti-malware protection

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, so do the threats to our cybersecurity. Small and mid-size businesses are especially vulnerable to attacks, as they often lack the resources and expertise of larger organizations. This is why it’s so important for SMBs to invest in anti-malware protection.

Anti-malware software works by identifying and removing malicious files from your computer. It can also block harmful websites and prevent malware from being downloaded in the first place. This is an important line of defense against cyberattacks, as it can stop attacks before they even start.

There are a variety of different anti-malware programs available, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your business. Some factors you may want to consider include price, features, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing systems.

Solution #8: Access control

When it comes to cyber security, small and mid-size businesses need to be just as vigilant as larger organizations. They may be less of a target for hackers, but they can still be attacked. And when they are, the consequences can be devastating.

That’s why access control is so important. By restricting access to sensitive data and systems, businesses can make it much harder for hackers to get their hands on sensitive information. And if a hacker does manage to get in, it will be much easier to track down and contain the security breaches.

There are a number of different ways to implement access control. The most important thing is to make sure that only authorized users have access to the data and systems they need. That might mean setting up different levels of access or requiring two-factor authentication for certain users.

Solution #9: Mobile device security

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular among small and mid-size businesses. With the convenience and flexibility, they offer, it’s no wonder that so many businesses are making the switch. But what many business owners don’t realize is that mobile devices come with their own set of security risks.

One of the biggest dangers of using a mobile device is that it can be lost or stolen. If your device falls into the wrong hands, sensitive information like customer data or financial records could be compromised. That’s why it’s important to have a robust security system in place, such as password protection and data encryption.

Another risk to consider is malware. Just like computers, mobile devices can be infected with viruses and other malicious software. This can lead to data loss or theft, as well as performance issues for your device.

Solution #10: Backup and disaster recovery

As a small or mid-size business, you may be thinking that cyber security doesn’t really apply to you. After all, you’re not a big corporation with millions of dollars at stake. But the truth is, even small businesses are at risk for cyber-attacks. And if you’re not prepared, a single attack could completely destroy your business.

That’s why it’s so important to have a good backup and disaster recovery plan in place. If your systems are ever breached, you need to be able to quickly and easily recover your data. Otherwise, you could find yourself out of business for good.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your backup and disaster recovery plan. First, you need to make sure that your data is backed up regularly.

Solution #11: Managed Detection and Response or Security Operation Center

Cyber security is important to businesses of all sizes, but it can be especially critical for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). Without the resources of a large enterprise, SMBs can be more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Managed detection and response (MDR) and security operation center (SOC) services can help SMBs defend against cyber threats.

MDR provides 24/7 monitoring and detection of malicious activity on a network. SOC services go a step further by also providing incident response and forensics services. This can be vital for an SMB that suffers a data breach, for example. By working with a managed security service provider (MSSP), SMBs can get the protection they need at a price they can afford.

MSSPs can tailor their MDR and SOC offerings to meet the specific needs of an SMB. That way the SMB doesn’t have to buy services it doesn’t need and the MSSP can reduce its operating costs.

Solution #12: Penetration Testing

As the world becomes more digital, so too do the threats to data and information security. Companies of all sizes must be ever vigilant in protecting their systems and data from attack, and this is especially true for small and mid-size businesses who may not have the resources of larger organizations. One way to ensure that your system is secure is through penetration testing, which can help identify vulnerabilities in your system before hackers do.

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, is a simulated attack on a computer system or network with the goal of finding security weaknesses that could be exploited by malicious actors. Pen testers use the same tools and techniques as hackers, but they do so with permission from the system owner and with the intention of helping to improve security.

Benefits of using an Outsourced SOC

Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are under constant attack from cyber criminals. In fact, SMBs are now the preferred target for cyber-attacks, due to the valuable data they hold and the fact that they often lack the robust security infrastructure of larger organizations.

There are many benefits to using an outsourced SOC, including:

1. Increased security: An outsourced SOC can provide your organization with 24/7 monitoring and protection, helping to identify and thwart attacks before they do serious damage.

2. Cost savings: Outsourcing your SOC can be more cost-effective than building and maintaining an in-house team, particularly for small and mid-size businesses that may not have the resources to invest in a full-fledged security operation.

3. Flexibility: An outsourced SOC allows you to scale your security operations according to the needs of your organization, allowing you to add or remove personnel as necessary.

4. Expertise: Outsourcing can provide you with access to an experienced security team, which allows you to leverage the knowledge and experience of the team without having to invest significant time or resources into training.

Some of the pitfalls in relying strictly on internal security staff

There are a few potential pitfalls in relying strictly on internal security staff. First, they may not have the necessary expertise to properly secure your company’s data. Second, they may not be able to keep up with the latest security threats and technology. Third, they may become complacent and allow threats to slip through the cracks.

To avoid these potential problems, it is important to supplement your internal security staff with external experts. Cybersecurity is a complex and ever-changing field, so it is important to have someone who is dedicated to keeping up with the latest trends and threats. Additionally, external experts can provide an unbiased perspective on your company’s security posture and help identify areas that need improvement.

Conclusion

Small and mid-size businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the United States.

Despite their importance, small and mid-size businesses are often the target of cyber-attacks. In fact, according to a report from Symantec, 43 percent of all cyber-attacks target small businesses.

There are many reasons why cyber security is important to small and mid-size businesses. Perhaps the most important reason is that these attacks can have a devastating effect on a business, both financially and reputationally.

Around the clock monitoring.

With Sentree365, you can rest assured that someone is always keeping an eye on your systems and data. In the event of an incident, our team of experts will work with you to quickly resolve the issue.

Call today to get your FREE demo of Sentree365 SOC. 317-939-3282

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CEO, Author of the #1 Risk to Small Businesses

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