Cyber Security Risks Small Businesses Should Prepare For

September 14, 2017 - By 

In 2016, more than 29 million confidential records were exposed by cyber attacks. Studies at the time concluded that the cost per record stolen in the United States came up to $220 and the average cost per breach was found to be $4 million.

If you’re not scared about cyber security threats, maybe you should be.

Surely, your company uploads thousands of personal and confidential data to the web, whether directly or through a cloud service, every single day.

This poses a significant threat not only to your business but also to your employees. Their confidential records could be hacked, identities stolen, and financial records pulled.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s time to prepare for some very real cyber security risks. Being equipped with the knowledge and power to fight them can prevent a terrible catastrophe and an unbearable financial burden.

Cyber Security Risks Facing Small Businesses

Your company’s intellectual property should be protected at all costs. Approximately 29% of cyber attacks to small businesses are planned cyber-crime. An additional 24% come from disloyal employees.

Follow along if you’d like to know the types of threats your business could be exposed to.

Understanding Your Contracts

The first step for cyber security risk preparation is reading the fine print in all the contracts your business has signed. Any third party provider will issue a contract and it’s important to understand the liability that comes with it.

Read everything. Be aware of how your information can be distributed and whether the company has data breach protection or not. Third party providers consisted of one-quarter of the data breach claims submitted in 2015.

Employee Risks

It is also important to understand how your employees can facilitate an attack. One of the most common ways is through lost or stolen documents, phones, or laptops.

Human error is a huge cause for data breaches. Brief your team on how their negligence can negatively affect the company. In this case, education is your best friend.

A mandatory training should be necessary for every new employee. Restrictions should also be placed on which electronic devices can be removed from the building and which ones cannot.

Digital Downloads

This is another classic attack agenda. Hackers will get your employees to download malware and in a matter of seconds or hours, your entire system has been breached.

The financial loss associated with this type of breach can be extremely significant. Resources need to be poured into legal defense and system restoration. Not to mention that the company will not be gaining revenue while the system is down.

On average, companies lose $100,000 during these ransomware attacks just from the downtime. Click for more information on how to get technical issues resolved within your company.

A Great Step Forward

One of the best ways to prevent attacks is to migrate to a cloud service. You will have better surveillance and perimeters, highly controlled access to data, and cyber security expertise by the provider.

Commonly, the service provider will also do routine auditing to make sure everything is running smoothly. It is likely your small business would not have the manpower or time to undergo these sorts of checks, so a cloud service is a better alternative to physical servers.

Wrapping Up

Now that you are aware of the types of security risks that can affect your company, it’s time to start preparing. The horrific cost of a cyber attack is sometimes unbearable, especially for smaller companies.

Educating your staff and taking the necessary steps to protect your records can prevent an irreversible disaster.

To get you prepared for a possible attack, do some more cyber security research. Learn about data encryption or secure servers to protect your co-workers from suffering from the effects of a cyber attack. The future of your company is not the only thing that’s at stake.