Cyber Security Is a Risk, Even for You
Rember the “Nigerian Prince” email scam of the Internet’s earlier days?
Some may laugh at the idea of someone falling for such a trick in 2019, but the fact is that this kind of “advance fee” scheme hasn’t gone away. On the contrary, cyber attacks have only gotten more deceptive and dangerous over time. From social engineering attacks such as phishing and spear-phishing, to malware and ransomware attacks, data breaches and hacks involving these kinds of tactics are now unfortunately common stories in today’s news.
You may say, “But wait, those stories are always about big companies. Target. Facebook. Google.”
True, many large companies have been victims of cyberattacks, but did you know that 40% of cyberattacks target small businesses and organizations – those with less than 250 employees? Moreover, did you know that more than half of all U.S. small businesses have experienced a cyberattack in the past year?
I can also confirm that in our agency, we are seeing an increase in cyber incidents and claims among local small businesses.
Why Small Businesses and Organizations Are Being Targeted
There are really three key reasons why it is, in fact, the smaller businesses and organizations that need to be more concerned about this risk:
How to Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Risks
Focusing on the following areas is a great place to start when it comes to addressing cyber security, and can go a long way towards being prepared for these kinds of risks:
It’s harder to avoid a risk about which you have inadequate information. With a little effort, even the busiest business owner can stay fairly current on cybersecurity stories and trends. It’s also wise to work with a dedicated cybersecurity firm, or an advisor who can help with these kinds of resources. The right partner can provide education and training, and even solutions like a diversified safety strategy and real-time cyber threat monitoring.
Having the right technology and technology service providers should be considered a cybersecurity necessity at this point. Your organization’s network, computer systems and applications should always be secure, up-to-date, patched and backed-up. Use effective firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing solutions and email spam filters.
Policies & Best Practices
Your employees need clear technology guidelines and effective cyber safety training. Here are just a few basic best practices that can help:
Making the Complex Simple
Of course, no amount of prevention can completely protect you from cyber risks. Wise organizations realize that, ultimately, cyber security is not a problem to be finally solved, but just another risk to be managed in an ongoing way.
The right risk advisor, plus robust cyber insurance, including coverage for social engineering, computer fraud, electronic funds transfer fraud, etc., will therefore continue to be necessities for every small business and organization.