Despite the recent chain of cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructures, a lot of small businesses think it can never happen to them. Most small business owners assume cyber targets are high profile or large businesses, such as the Colonial Pipeline. That assumption is incorrect. Small businesses are a growing target for cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals like targeting small to medium-sized businesses because most lack cybersecurity protection and thus an easy target to steal sensitive data or infiltrate their network with ransomware. A small accounting firm may only have 10-15 employees, but the amount of data hackers can steal holds a lot of value. Hackers can obtain customers’ sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account information, etc.
Statistics show 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyberattack go out of business within six months of the attack. That is why it is imperative for SMB owners to have a good cybersecurity protocol in place.
A small escrow company in California closed its doors and laid off all staff due to a cyberattack. A fraudulent wire transfer was made from the company’s account to a bank in Russia. A month later, two additional fraudulent transactions totaling $1,100,000 were transferred to accounts in China. The company was not able to survive the catastrophe and had to shut down.
It is critical for small to medium-sized business owners to act now. Businesses need to institute a proper cybersecurity policy that includes:
- CybersecurityAssessment: Assess the company’s cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.
- Password Protection: Mandate strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an added protection.
- Staff Cybersecurity TrainingProgram: Educate staff about their important role in mitigating the risk of an attack.
- Network Monitoring: Foresee the risks before they happen with a proactive approach in cyberattack prevention.
- Software Updates: Perform regular updates and patches to repair vulnerabilities.
- Implement Desktop Virtualization: Deliver secure remote access to prevent unauthorized users from getting into the network.