Post by Craig Petronella
(republished with permission)
Even with ransomware, malware, and data breaches constantly in the news, too many small businesses don’t have the cybersecurity protections they need to safeguard themselves and their customers.
According to a March 2022 survey from Digital.com, 51 percent of small businesses don’t have cybersecurity measures in place. Of those who haven’t taken steps to make it harder for malicious actors to access their systems, 59 percent said it was because their business was “too small” to be a target. That’s a dangerous misconception you can’t afford to believe.
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Petronella Report: Cyber Threats and Small Business
On top of the 51 percent of owners who said they didn’t have cybersecurity measures in place, another 7 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t sure about the state of cybersecurity at their companies. (Hint: If you have to wonder if you have adequate cybersecurity, you don’t.
Anyone in that segment almost certainly isn’t prepared to fend off or recover from a cyberattack.) Only 42 percent of the owners polled said their companies currently had some form of cybersecurity.
At the same time, 1 in 5 small online businesses surveyed had been the victim of a cyberattack. The 36 percent of survey respondents who said they were “not at all concerned” that their company might be the victim of a hack or ransomware scheme are fooling themselves—the time to prepare your small business against cyber threats is now, before you become part of the growing segment of companies who have suffered the costs of being complacent.
The Danger to Small Business
A smaller enterprise might think that because they’re not a big company with a huge balance sheet or a vast trove of sensitive information, hackers aren’t going to think it’s worth their while to go after them. But what hackers see is low-hanging fruit. A small company isn’t likely to have the kind of budget dedicated to cybersecurity that a large nationally or internationally known enterprise would, if they’re even bothering to try at all. Judging by the survey results, a cybercriminal has good odds of finding an open door to walk right through. For them, targeting an unprotected small business means a quick (if relatively modest) payday for only a little work.
When asked why they didn’t have cybersecurity, 19 percent of survey respondents said it was too expensive. Realistically, the costs of a cyberattack are the price you can’t afford. While a giant corporation can usually absorb the expense of dealing with a successful hack, most small businesses can’t—and many of them never recover.
About the Author
Craig A. Petronella is the CEO of Petronella Technology Group Inc, a cybersecurity group that specializes in helping law firms with security and compliance. With 30 years of experience, he is the author of “How Hackers can Crush your Law Firm,” Peace of Mind Computer Support” and other titles. MIT Certified: AI, Blockchain & Hyperledger. Phone: 919-601-1601; Helpdesk Support: 919-422-2607. For information about a cyber-crime risk assessment call: 1-877-468-2721