Cyberattacks are occurring at an extraordinary rate. While large breaches on major corporations like Home Depot, Target, Sony, and eBay get the bulk of media attention, small- to mid-sized businesses quietly remain a very high risk for attack. Recent studies show that nearly 50% of SMBs reported a security breach within the past year. A number that experts predict will continue to rise as larger organizations become better at protecting themselves and hackers begin to move downstream to more vulnerable targets.
“SMBs are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks.” says Tim Foley, Director of Information Security at Dataprise. “Many SMBs feel that the likelihood of an attack on their business is low and the cost of preventing a breach is too high. Smaller organizations, however, share the same threats to their data as larger organizations but often lack the budget and in-house expertise needed to properly protect this data. This is exactly what makes them ideal targets for would-be attackers.”
Can You Withstand a Breach?
The actual cost of a data breach can vary significantly based on market and industry. Ponemon estimates that the costs for small- to medium-sized businesses can range from between $600k to $1 million per incident. But in many ways, SMBs have more to lose from a cyberattack than their larger enterprise counterparts.
Aside from the direct loss of dollars associated with a breach, the long-term effect of losing consumer confidence and reestablishing a damaged brand can prove insurmountable for an SMB. According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small companies are forced to close their doors within 6 months of a cyberattack.
“The difference between an inconvenience and a disaster is how quickly an organization can detect and report a threat” says Tim Foley. “Most SMBs are just too small to withstand the damage done by a data breach. The key is taking preventative measures to ensure your company is prepared for when a breach does occur.”
How Can I Protect My Organization?
Your employees are your most important asset, but also your most vulnerable. Therefore, the first step in protecting your organization against cyber threats is raising organizational awareness. Even basic measures of security, such as adopting a strong password policy and securing employee workstations, can significantly reduce the risk of an attack.
When it comes to protecting yourself against cyber threats, it’s important to know as much as possible about your own network as well as any potential cyber adversaries. This is why an in-depth Security Assessment, performed by qualified security specialists, can significantly reduce your risk of attack. A security assessment provides you with a baseline of your existing infrastructure, a risk evaluation based on information that is most important to your organization, and a roadmap to help protect your organization going forward.
Navigating today’s complex cybersecurity landscape can be difficult. For this reason, many SMBs choose to partner with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Outsourcing your security to an MSSP can give you a leg up against would-be attackers, while allowing your organization to remain focused on its core business.
A security breach doesn’t have to paralyze your business. With the right tools and the right support, any organization, no matter the size, can protect itself against cyber threats.