5 Reasons Why Your Small Business is at Risk for a Cyber Attack

Fact: America’s 28 million small businesses create approximately two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year and more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business.

Fact: Businesses with less than 20 employees make up approx 90% of the workforce according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fact: The Small Business Association found that small employers often don’t consider themselves targets for cyberattacks due to their size or the perception that they don’t have anything worth stealing. However, this could not be any more wrong.

Small businesses have incredibly valuable information that cyber criminals want, including both employee and customer data, bank account information, access to the business’s finances, and intellectual property. Many small businesses are in communication with larger businesses, thus, providing access to larger networks to these cyber criminals. These small businesses play an important part of the nation’s supply chain, and rely on their technology to safely store and process their information. No one really wants to spend money on something before it happens but in this day and age, you can’t afford not to protect your business, your livelihood. Look at your alternative, most businesses close within 6 months of a cyber attack. Some things are worth protecting, and your data, your customer’s data, and your network are your priority.

Most small businesses do not have any sort of cybersecurity practices in place because of a lack of resources. That may be a lack in sufficient resources or personnel to dedicate to cybersecurity. Even then, we’ve seen in recent news that larger corporations with plenty of resources at hand such as Target and Sony, are having their own issues with their cybersecurity not keeping them protected. With such an abundance of small businesses who lack cybersecurity, these small employers are an incredibly attractive target for cyber criminals. Let’s go over the 5 reasons why your small business is at risk for a cyber attack.

1. No one thinks it’ll happen to them. According to a report by Symantec, this kind of thought process couldn’t be further from the truth. 60% of all target attacks struck small and medium sized organizations. Oftentimes, these cyber crimes occur before the business owner can even realize their security has been compromised.

2. Most small businesses can’t afford an IT team, let alone cybersecurity so they ignore the issue. Unfortunately, the average cost of a data breach is $36,000 for small businesses. Many small businesses do not realize that they can be fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for not protecting their customer’s data. The reality is, you can’t NOT afford cybersecurity.

3. Many small businesses don’t encrypt their data. Encryption in its simplest terms is a method of protecting data from people you don’t want to see it. According to a survey done by Sophos, there are numerous reasons why organizations do not encrypt their data. 37% of organizations cite lack of budget as to why they do not make extensive use of encryption. 31% point to concerns about encryption’s impact on performance and 28% state they have lack of deployment knowledge, while 20% say lack of legal pressure explains why they don’t use encryption. A small business may not realize why their assets are so valuable but in any organization, data is valuable not only to a small business owner but to the cyber criminals. The damage to your brand, your customers, and your business can be insurmountable.

4. Weak passwords pose as a huge security risk. Does your business use passwords like ‘1234’ or ‘password’? As ridiculous as this password is, it has been the #1 used password for years now. Cyber criminals are banking on this. Do not be lazy and just add numbers to your weak password. For example, instead of ‘123456’, many chose ‘1234567890’. This is a basic extension, which cybercriminals can take full advantage of. You’re not being clever by doing this. Take the few minutes to come up with a unique password. That could very well make the difference in your network security.

5. Not updating their firewalls. By regularly updating and checking your firewalls, you are being proactive towards the security of your business. Manufacturers release updates to their products which usually include fixes to bugs as well as new features that will mitigate new types of threats. It is also important to review your firewall logs and check for any alerts or policy changes.

Be proactive and don’t wait until it’s too late. Read below for how Axiom Cyber Solutions can help your small business manage their cybersecurity.

How can we help?

Axiom Cyber Solutions is offering a Managed Firewall, Cyber-Security Protection for Small Business starting as low as $199 per month.

We realize that most small businesses do not have a dedicated IT team and business owners may be handling their cyber security matters on their own. Let us take over and provide you with peace of mind. Axiom will provide your business a firewall and manage it so you don’t have to worry about securing your business. We will assess the security risks for your business and will help implement the right cyber security service for your business. And don’t worry, there are no upfront costs for the device and you can cancel at any time.