Cybersecurity a Growing Business Issue

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a big scary unknown term to most small business owners, but an issue that could cost the company embarrassment, legal issues and significant monetary costs. Cybersecurity is the in place policies, procedures and training used to protect all of the company’s electronic data, information and communication. The company must also look at the outreaching effect on any client/customer information, such as accounts, financial, health, etc.

Small Business Impact

According to a recent Florida Trend article, small business cyber attacks are on the rise and owners are not prepared to deal with the growing issue. Consider these statistics from the same article:

  • 43 percent of all attacks worldwide were targeted at small businesses with less than 250 employees; that’s up from 34 percent in 2014.
  • 79 percent of small businesses do not have a cyber attack response plan even though 83 percent have been the victim of a cyber attack.
  • $20K is the average cost of a cyber attack on a small business.

Small Business Protection

Small businesses are the major target because major corporations have the funding for staff or outside consultants to develop security programs and services. The small business normally does not have the staff, funding and support to make cybersecurity a priority.  There are both external and internal threats when considering the opportunity to hack, interfere and disrupt the operation of a business.

Does your company have written cybersecurity policies and procedures in place? Is everyone trained and updated when necessary? Employees should be reminded what to open and not open when using the Internet.   We live in a high speed society with the need for instant information using all types of mobile devices that could bring in threats without knowing it.

Recommendations

  1. Small businesses need to take the time to learn about the threats of cybersecurity.
  2. Develop a security plan in writing with action steps.
  3. Educate ALL employees on cybersecurity and the company’s security plan.
  4. Implement the security plan and stick with it, making enhancements when necessary.

Many organizations are dedicated to assisting small business owners in understanding cybersecurity and the actions that can be taken to protect businesses. University of South Florida recognized the importance of cybersecurity and is now home to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity an annual conference, how-to tips and the latest cyber news and threats. The Small Business Administration website now also provides an overview and recommendations for security small businesses. This is an online course and only takes 30 minutes to complete.

Whatever the avenue, cybersecurity is a topic small business owners should be knowledgeable about. Small businesses should take advantage of the various quality resources available online and in their local communities via reputable business organizations.