Can your business survive a data breach?
On average, 60% of small businesses do not survive within six months of a cyberattack.
Cyberattacks are a deadly, a far-too-common threat to anyone and anything existing on the internet, projected to cost businesses over 10.5 trillion by 2025.
Despite the scary statistics, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) still aren’t prioritizing cybersecurity. They see cybersecurity as an optional expense that “doesn’t fit their budget”.
As an example, when interviewed by CNBC in a control group of 2,000 business owners, just 5% reported cybersecurity as a priority risk factor to their operations at the moment. In contrast, 38% uphold inflation as their number one concern, followed by supply chain disruption and COVID-19. This hasn’t changed throughout 2022; cybersecurity is still reported as the last thing SMBs are worried about.
But, with 1 in every 10 SMBs struck by a cyberattack every year, this shouldn’t be the case. Failing to protect your business puts you at risk for breaches and fuels the threat actor economy.
Undoubtedly, SMB owners are pioneers of innovation, taking on new approaches to their industry in a way larger businesses can’t. It’s surprising that, despite the creativity and intellect it takes to run a business, SMB owners and decision makers still don’t invest in cybersecurity.
After decades spent in the managed IT Services sector, we’ve seen firsthand the top 2 “myths” that prevent business owners from making more effective decisions regarding their cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity solutions are expensive and complicated.
Year after year, SMBs don’t budget for cybersecurity because of its’ upfront expense.
After all, you’d have to hire the right staff, pay upfront for the right software and tooling, and who knows what else. You don’t have time to think about computers and viruses when you’re trying to maintain service with a smile.
Not to mention: what is cybersecurity?
Is it something software engineers have to do? Is it the binary code you see floating around the monitor in spy movies?
How can you be expected, as a business owner, to invest in a concept you can’t see?
No, cybersecurity is not a fix-all tool you can buy.
At its core, cybersecurity is awareness, process, and actions taken to keep your computer networks and devices safe from unauthorized access. It may not sound like it, but just one data breach could spell the end.
That’s why, starting today, you need to prioritize cybersecurity for your SMB.
But that’s easier said than done. You can’t build Rome in a day, after all. In order to make cybersecurity a technical reality, we recommend referencing the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) framework.
According to CIS, “Every enterprise should start with IG1. IG1 is defined as “essential cyber hygiene,” the foundational set of cyber defense Safeguards that every enterprise should apply to guard against the most common attacks.” CIS has 18 separate Controls, verified security actions for any sized organization reviewed and curated by experts of different industry backgrounds, made to align your organization with the CIS cybersecurity framework for protection from cyber threats.
Below, we review simple cybersecurity steps you can take, all referenced from CIS CONTROL 7 — Continuous Vulnerability Management.
5 simple steps to protect your business
- Train your employees
Human error is the root cause of 95% of all data breaches, according to a recent study by Cybint.
If your employees aren’t trained to think before they click, it’s only a matter of time before an irreversible, deadly mistake shatters your business.
Make cybersecurity common knowledge for all employees, and test that knowledge regularly. Have HR require training in cybersecurity best practices and telltale signs of phishing. Keep personal affairs, like social media, off company devices. Curate the company Wi-fi network to block outside phones and tablets.
- Update and patch machines regularly
It’s important to keep all machines patched because many updates address newly discovered security gaps and vulnerabilities.
As a business owner, it’s only natural that you’d want to do this yourself. But if you don’t have formal technical training, properly scheduling patches for all your company devices is going to be next to impossible.
Partner with an expert to improve your business’s cybersecurity standing. Find someone who will:
- Automate the process
- Ensure it’s done correctly
- Abide by the proper documentation for compliance, insurance, and authorities (FBI)
- Limit your liability
- Keep one inventory for all assets (devices, systems, networks, etc.)
You can’t locate where problems and potential weaknesses are in your business infrastructure if you don’t have a clear picture. When you have a clear, concise list of all assets and devices, you’ll need the help of an expert to:
- Remove obsolete or retired devices
- Disable any unused network ports
- Validate all other assets’ current versions
- Keep out unnecessary devices and networks, like “mini networks”
- Install Next Gen Anti-virus
Threat actors can strike at any second, even on weekends, holidays, and late at night. You’ll need an extra layer of defense to monitor your systems for suspicious activity when you can’t.
Next Gen anti-virus programs detect and contain found anomalies before they can do any lasting damage. Sign up for one, or partner with an expert that can point you towards the best option for your business, before you log in on a Monday to black screens and fragmented hard drives.
- Filter DNS
Unfortunately, there are many websites disguising themselves as harmless. But threat actors are lurking behind the screen, collecting and sending off your information to offsite servers.
DNS (Domain Name System) filtering is the process of scanning, indexing, and blocking access to sites hosting potentially malicious content.
This method of cyberattacking is most used by state-sponsored threat actors, contracted by their governments to gather intel and feed it back to specialized agencies. This is officially regarded as an act of cyberterrorism.
To make surfing safe, DNS filtering has a wide range of benefits overall:
- Protection from malware/ransomware/viruses for everyone, including customers accessing your website
- Detailed threat reports
- Remote protection capabilities (great for remote companies)
Cybersecurity is not expensive, but cyberattacks are
The cost of falling victim to a cyberattack is exponentially more than investing in cybersecurity– Don’t be another SMB who didn’t take cybersecurity seriously until it was too late. The more difficult it is to target you; the less cyber criminals will be interested in stealing from you.
To stay ahead of the threat actors, you’ll need an expert IT partner like Twin Networks. Contact us today to make sure your business doesn’t get left behind.