cybercrime will cost $6 trillion by 2021. It’s a statistic from Cybersecurity
Ventures that can’t be ignored and it’s the biggest threat facing businesses
today, with reports indicating that more than 50 percent of IT decision makers are
flagging phishing attacks as a top security threat. This year alone, ransomware
will hit a new organization every 14 seconds.
there’s the data breaches. With large enterprises like Equifax, Facebook,
Marriott, and Under Armour experiencing mega security incidents and exposure of
sensitive information, data breaches have become an unavoidable part of our
interconnected world. However, hackers and cybercriminals are turning their
attention to smaller businesses, which are just as susceptible to these crimes
Ponemon’s study 2018 State of
Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Size Businesses, 67 percent of Small and
Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) have experienced a cyberattack.
Unlike big corporations that have the resources to invest in robust
cybersecurity, smaller organizations are often limited when it comes to digital
defense. And, despite having less data to manage than their larger
counterparts, it’s no less valuable to cybercriminals.
The Perfect Data Breach Storm
sophisticated attack methods that cybercriminals use to bombard corporations
can overwhelm SMBs, who often lack sufficient security infrastructure,
expertise, operational support, or budget to combat vulnerabilities. Mobile
devices have become a gateway to data breaches and cyberattacks. Whether company-issued or employee-owned devices, fraudsters
are increasingly using these endpoints to infiltrate company networks.
Verizon’s Mobile Security Index 2019 showed that 88 percent of businesses with
fewer than 500 employees believe the risks associated with mobile devices are
serious and growing.
typically very limited on the time, resources, or experience available within
their company to properly train employees on cyber threats and security best
practices. Employee error or negligence causes 40 percent of data breaches, as
reported by Shred-it. Whether it’s an employee clicking on a phishing email,
misjudging the realness of a sender and therefore divulging sensitive
information, or having their cell phone “taken over” where sensitive company
information resides, these mistakes can lead to serious hacks or breaches. Exposed
or compromised information can be used to commit personal or business identity
theft, or be sold on the Dark Web to criminals who will perpetuate a cycle of endless fraud, which could result in an SMB
having to close its doors.
How SMBs can Mitigate Risk
are out there — and the costs are significant: The 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon Institute found that
even a breach of less than 10,000 records costs an average of $2.1 million.
When the data breach hits this close to home for an SMB, it can wreak havoc on
the business from losing customers who feel betrayed, to lost opportunities
from a tainted reputation. The recovery process can take years — and that may
be time a small business just doesn’t have.
So what do you
need in your protection arsenal? Security awareness and education is a solid
place to start. It’s critical for small businesses to get familiar with
identifying common scams generated through emails, suspicious attachments, and
robocalls. Once you know what to look for, put together a formal training
program and equip your employees with the knowledge to help protect the company
from today’s cybercriminals so that they can’t interfere with tomorrow’s business
For what you
can’t do on your own, make smart investments toward protecting your business
data. There are many cost-effective options to help reduce the fallout of a
data breach, including cyber and data breach insurance, identity theft
protection for your business, employees and customers, and mobile cybersecurity
solutions that provide visibility into threats on mobile devices for both your
employees and your company. Building a comprehensive strategy with the right
support and services can alert you to a security incident before it turns into
a full-blown data breach, and help you recover if the worst were to occur.
Don’t have a
false sense of security. Get the protection your SMB deserves and take the time
to safeguard your employees, customers, partners — essentially all those
driving your business — today. Cybercriminals
are pushing the limit to how they get to your sensitive and confidential
information — so should you.
Scott is Chief Commercial Officer of EZShield + IdentityForce.