Why a Small Business Should Care About Cybersecurity

If you’re a small business owner you might think your company is off the radar for targeted cyber intrusion, but many hackers actually target small firms, assuming they have lax security. See where your business might be vulnerable and what to look out for.

Why It’s Critical to Protect Yourself

As many as 58% of data breach victims in 2017 were small businesses.

  • That’s more than 31,000 security incidents resulting in nearly 1,300 data breaches.1

These breaches are costly.

  • Average cyberattacks cost companies more than $7,000.2
  • Small business security breaches can cost as much as $150,000 or more.3

Common Methods Used by Scammers to Target Small Businesses4

  • Fake invoices or checks
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Imposter scams, including tech support, government agencies, credit card processors, equipment leasers, and office supply vendors
  • Directory listing/advertising scams
  • Promises of fix online reviews/ratings

The Human Element

Train your employees.

  • Human mistakes are responsible for nearly 1 in 5 data breaches.1
  • One study also found that 28% of attacks involved company insiders.1
  • Regularly install company software updates
  • Require strong passwords at least 10 characters long, including numbers, symbols, and mixed-case letter
  • Use virtual private networks (VPNs) that encrypt all traffic entering and leaving company devices

You don't have to go it alone.

The Department of Homeland Security offers resources through the Computer Emergency Readiness Team to help small business owners design cybersecurity plans tailored to their needs.

1Verizon, “2018 Data Breach Investigations Report”

2The Council of Economic Advisers, “The Cost of Malicious Cyber Activity to the U.S. Economy”

3National Association of Professional Agents, “What Businesses Need To Know About Data Breach Exposure”

4Federal Trade Commission, “Scams and Your Small Business”


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