October can be a scary month. Horror movies are readily available on TV and streaming services because of Halloween approaching, of course. But there is another reason why October is scary… This month is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What is scarier than a malicious attack on your computer or your network, threatening your sensitive data?
Did you know that cyber criminals are more focused on targeting small and medium-sized businesses? Maybe you weren’t even scared until you heard that. But the truth is more than half of all small businesses suffered a breach within the last year …and the number is growing. Furthermore, over 60% of companies attacked go out of business in 6 months! And if that isn’t scary enough, 72% of the breaches were related to staff receiving fraudulent emails.
Why has this trend of threats against small and medium-sized businesses increased over the last few years? It’s simple:
- No IT Department – Smaller companies are more likely to have limited (or no) IT personnel. This means devices, networks, websites, and servers are likely not up-to-date with best defenses or latest security patches, and no one is standing by to react quickly to a breach.
- Simple Network and Systems – Smaller businesses have much simpler networks than larger businesses. A small business may have one server and/or a small number of devices, which makes it easier to breach.
- Cloud Usage – Small businesses may rely more heavily on the cloud than a larger business with the IT infrastructure to support its own needs. Each time you access the cloud, store or share something across it you CAN put the data, the network and the business at risk. Using cloud doesn’t have to be more dangerous, but small businesses do not usually know how to equip their network with the necessary encryption technology to keep data secure.
- Third Party Software and Websites – Small businesses are more likely to rely on third-party software suites, websites, SaaS or PaaS than a larger business. A large business is more likely to have a proprietary or in-house solution. Using a third-party solution to service a digital need across the Internet puts your business at risk in many ways. First, there is the connection itself, which may or may not be secure, and then there is the chance that hackers will target that service and then use it as a gateway into your business computer network.
Final Scary Thought: Analysts have characterized smaller businesses as being in a hacker’s “sweet spot” having more assets than an individual but far less security than a major corporation, and targeting them is just easier than targeting large businesses. Big businesses have the time, the money and the resources to use the latest in cutting edge technology to protect themselves, their networks and their data. Smaller businesses don’t, and that is what makes the difference. This is not to say a small business cannot be cyber secure because they can, and it really isn’t as hard as it may seem.
If you have questions about your cybersecurity, don’t be scared! Contact P2CM at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-939-8240 and have us help you secure your company data before the goblins and monsters come for you. Happy Halloween!