SMBs Are a Big Target

We regularly talk about the risks that organizations face – from threats both of an external and an internal nature – and encourage vigilance among our clients and colleagues. For the most part, the threats are from hackers who introduce malware and ransomware to your system, but every now and then, Mother Nature reminds us that hackers are not the only reason we need to be vigilant. Fires, flooding, and extreme heat that taxes our utility infrastructure also create havoc. Regardless of the reasons your organization faces risk, it’s never been more important to take your organization’s IT security more seriously.

Cyber Threats Are Growing

In 2021, the number cyber threats increased significantly (Tech Republic):

  • Encrypted threats by 167% (10.4 million attacks)
  • Ransomware by 105% (623.3 million attacks)
  • Cryptojacking by 19% (97.1 million attacks)
  • Intrusion attempts by 11% (5.3 trillion attacks)
  • IoT malware by 6% (60.1 million attacks)

That’s a huge threat increase.

We hear about the big data breaches in the news all the time – impacting Capital One, Equifax, LinkedIn, Adobe, eBay, et al. – but when small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are attacked, it often slips under the radar. The truth of the matter is that smaller businesses and startups are a favored target for cyber criminals.

Why Are SMBs a Target?

Bigger corporations have bigger budgets, internal IT departments, and have started to recognize the importance of investing in multi-layer, comprehensive IT security. Hackers have recognized the vulnerability of smaller businesses that can’t afford (or think they can’t afford) to make the same investment. What some SMB leaders fail to realize is that the investment required is often scalable to the size of the business, and more importantly, the cost of not investing in IT security is far more expensive.

SMBs Are a Lucrative Target for Cyber Criminals

In 2021, 46% of security breaches impacted small- and mid-sized businesses. The threats are more sophisticated, more costly, and more difficult to detect. The only solution is a proactive approach to cybersecurity that helps you prevent and detect these threats before they happen, as well as a comprehensive plan for recovery should the worst occur. Remember: Mother Nature remains an unpredictable threat.

If you:

  • Operate a business of any size, even if you operate strictly from a home office or only have a handful of employees
  • Work with privileged client information, including law offices, insurance agents, and financial firms
  • Have proprietary business dealings or intellectual property that you need to protect
  • Conduct any financial transactions online, including banking services
  • Use email to communicate with your customers or clients
  • Store files on your computer system or network
  • Use a mobile device to access information or have remote workers or field workers
  • Have compliance requirements you must meet to remain in business

– then you are at risk and so is your business – no matter the size of your organization.

Making IT Security a Priority – 5 Steps to Take Now

IT security should be a top concern for every small- and mid-sized business owner. Taking the necessary steps to protect your organization must be a priority. Without taking these measures, your organization could easily become one of the 60% of SMBs that “go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack” (Cybercrime Magazine). Take these steps now to protect your business:

  1. Enable automated, off-site public cloud backups; to ensure business continuity, establish offsite replication as well.
  2. Limit information access to only those who truly need it and remove access immediately when it is no longer needed.
  3. Invest in ongoing employee awareness training that is backed up by comprehensive use policies and mobile device management.
  4. Address security from multiple directions. Yes, you need firewalls and virus protection, but you also need email security, malware detection, and security for every device that is used to access your business.
  5. Take your organization’s IT security seriously. The “it will never happen to me” mentality is costly.

It only takes a moment for a criminal to compromise your data, steal your clients’ personal information, or walk away with your million-dollar investment. Thwart their attempts with a serious and considered look at your organization’s IT security.

Minimizing your risk is easier when you align your business with a trusted managed IT service provider that partners with your organization, understands your needs, and provides customized solutions to ensure that you have the protection you need. thinkCSC is committed to helping you find the most economical solutions to meet their needs.

For more information, contact us today.