We know that small businesses are often the target of cybercrimes because they’re the easiest systems to infiltrate mainly due to lack of employee education. Half of the worldwide internet attacks were against businesses with 250 employees or less. Ironically enough, most small businesses think of themselves as being “too small” to be attacked. Most hackers will go after a business’s financial records and then demand an outrageous ransom to gain control back which, unfortunately, is enough for most businesses to fail. Last year alone, 60% of small businesses that were targeted went out of business within 6 months.
According to Sourcit.net, a cyberattack usually runs a business more than $50,000.
- The costs associated with downtime (an average of $23,000)
- The money spent on bringing in external help (e.g., IT security consultants, lawyers) to deal with the aftermath of the cyberattack ($10,000 on average)
- The money spent on public relations efforts to manage communications with customers and the public as well as the money spent on marketing activities designed to reduce the cyberattacks impact on the business’s reputation ($8,653 on average)
- The expenses incurred from upgrading the IT infrastructure, hiring more staff, and other measures taken to prevent future cyberattacks (an average of $8,000)
- The costs associated with lost business opportunities (an average of $5,000)
There are regulatory compliances that need to be paid, attorney fees and litigation, insurance premium increases, and devaluation of your company’s name. After losing money, the biggest impact is seen on client confidence. After a breach, small businesses are at risk of losing their clients trust. If the client chooses to stay with a business through these trying times, the bills add up in order to ensure their information won’t be compromised again.
Here’s what you can do…
Outsource your IT operations. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to build a security system sophisticated enough to protect themselves. Leave it to the experts, it’ll save you money in the long run.
Tell people. Be honest, let people know that you’ve been attacked so they don’t interact with any messages sent from your accounts. You can also save someone from going through the same trouble easily just by letting others know.
Strong passwords. We talk about it all the time, make sure that your passwords are solid! Don’t go with the usual dog’s name + birthday combo, try something that you can remember so you don’t have to write it down, but difficult enough that others won’t guess it.
For more tips on protecting yourself, check out our blog.
Hackers are constantly evolving, creating more sophisticated malware by the day. There’s somewhere around 500 million new malware threats created each year! Here are the top 5 scams you need to educate yourselves and your employees about that are currently targeting small businesses.
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