Cyber Security is a big, scary term for (admittedly) a pretty big, scary problem. If you’re a small business owner, cyber security might seem like something only big corporations need to deal with. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. Here are 5 myths about cyber security for small businesses.
Myth 1: Small Businesses Aren’t Targets
If you think being a small business makes you less attractive to hackers, think again. The data suggests that 43% of cyber attacks have directly targeted small businesses as opposed to big corporations. In fact, smaller organizations receive a significantly higher rate of malicious emails than larger companies do.
Hackers know that small businesses often have fewer resources in place to combat phishing attempts, and they do their best to exploit that. That vulnerability is what makes cyber security for small businesses essential.
Myth 2: Covid has been tough on business. I can’t really afford to beef up my cyber-security.
We get it. No one has been hit by Covid harder than small businesses. Increased security may feel like a luxury you just can’t afford at the moment. The problem is, the information we’re getting is telling us that this is the exact wrong time to be lax about cyber security.
Over the last 18 months we’ve all spent a lot more time at home and online. Unfortunately, that goes for hackers too. The FBI has reported a 300% increase in the number of cyber-crimes since the start of the pandemic. You might feel like you can’t afford to invest in security, but the truth is that you can’t afford NOT to.
Myth 3: I Just Need a Good Malware Program
As important as it is to have good protective software installed, the most effective way to combat hacking attempts is with human awareness and intelligence. Small businesses are most vulnerable to attacks when their employees have not been trained in how to detect phishing attempts.
You also need to have a clear plan of action for how to handle a suspected attack. The faster you are able to catch something and nip it in the bud, the less damage done.
Myth 4: The Risk Is Worth It
Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m a small business. I don’t have thousands of clients to lose or stock shares to plummet. If something happens, it won’t be that big of a deal.” According to a 2020 report in Cyber Security Magazine, the global cost of Cybercrime is projected to be $10.5 Trillion per year by 2025. For perspective, that is approximately half of the United States’ entire GDP.
And the costs go far beyond stolen money. CyberSecurity Ventures includes non-monetary costs like, “damage and destruction of data, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.”
Myth 5: As Long as I Have a Good IT Guy, I’ll Be Fine
Ok, so there is some truth to this one. A good IT guy (or IT department) will go a long way towards keeping your security tight and reducing the risk of a data breach. But unfortunately, there are still other people in your company who can put you at risk.
We all have that one family member who can’t be trusted not to click the link to claim their free vacation or not to wire money to that nice Nigerian prince. Human error accounts for the vast majority of data breaches. Your company is only as secure as your least careful employee.
You need to be vigilant about routine employee training, especially for those not involved in the tech side of things, and about limiting the number of users who have access to your website.
At DenWeb, we take cyber security for small businesses really seriously. After all, we ARE a small business. If you’re reading this list and seeing a lot of yourself in it, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help with your cyber security. You can also get more free security tips by signing up for our free newsletter.