Is Cyber Security Helpful For Small Businesses ?
The news often reports on incidents involving large corporations facing massive data breaches where the personal information of millions of consumers was potentially leaked. However, we don't often hear reports about the hacking of small businesses, mainly because these types of attacks aren't public knowledge.
Many entrepreneurs don't realize that small businesses are just as at risk for cyberattacks as larger companies, but they are. According to a report by Verizon, 61 percent of data breach victims were small businesses.
Why do hackers target small businesses?
Smaller companies are attractive because they tend to have weaker online security. They’re also doing more business than ever online via cloud services that don’t use strong encryption technology. To a hacker, that transact into reams of sensitive data behind a door with an easy lock to pick. If you have any Fortune 500 companies as customers, You’re an even more enticing target, you’re an entry point.
Types of cyberattacks
In almost every case, the end goal of a cyberattack is to steal and exploit sensitive data, whether it's customer credit card information or a person's credentials, which is then used to manipulate the individual's identity online.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of potential cyberthreats, especially as hackers' techniques evolve, but businesses should at least be aware of the most common types of attacks include advanced persistent, distributed denial of service, Inside attack, Malware, password attack, phishing, ransomware and Zero day attacks
Security solutions and what to look for
There are a few different basic types of security software on the market, offering varying levels of protection. Antivirus software is the most common and will defend against most types of malware.Antivirus provide an added layer of protection by preventing an unauthorized user from accessing a computer or network. Most modern operating systems such as Windows 10 come with a firewall program.
Cobb, of ESET, advised that businesses invest in three security solutions. The first is a data backup solution so that any information compromised or lost during a breach can easily be recovered from an alternate location. The second is encryption software to protect sensitive data, such as employee records, client/customer information and financial statements. The third solution is two-step authentication or password-security software for a business's internal programs to reduce the likelihood of password cracking.
One important solution that doesn't involve software and that many small businesses overlook is cybersecurity insurance. As mentioned above, your general liability policy will not help you recoup losses or legal fees associated with a data breach. A separate policy covering these types of damages can be hugely helpful in case of an attack.
According to a survey by insurance company Hiscox, only 21 percent of small businesses have some form of cyber insurance, with 52 percent indicating that they have no intention of acquiring any. Many small businesses assume cyber insurance policies are designed only for large companies, because those businesses are the most frequent targets of hackers. But many insurance carriers are beginning to offer tailor-made coverage for smaller companies to meet their budgets and risk-exposure levels.
The business owners look for a combination of first- and third-party coverage. First-party liability coverage includes general costs incurred as a result of a breach, such as legal expertise, public relations campaigns, customer notification and business interruption. Third-party coverage protects you if your company is at the center of a breach that exposed sensitive information. This type of protection covers legal defense costs if the affected parties sue your company.