FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist
According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance 60% of small businesses close within six months of a cyberattack. That’s a scary metric, not just for small businesses but for local communities as well. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and when they close, it can have a ripple effect on the entire community.
A recent study from Barracuda Networks, analyzing millions of emails across thousands of companies found that on average small businesses with less than 100 employees will experience 350% more social engineering attacks than larger companies — with 1 in 5 small businesses seeing at least 1 cyberattack last year.
“Hackers no longer rely solely on ‘traditional’ threats such as spam or malware, therefore traditional email filtering technology is no longer sufficient to prevent modern-day attacks.” — Mike Flouton, VP of Product Management, Barracuda Networks
A cyberattack can result in financial loss, a ruined reputation, and the inability to recover from the attack. Small businesses often lack the resources to recover from cyberattacks, making them especially vulnerable to these types of incidents.
What is Social Engineering?
Becoming a victim of a cyberattack is a simple and easy mistake without the proper wherewithal and protections. Imagine an employee for your company receiving an email from somebody pretending to be you — their boss. The email uses similar language you use, has a very similar email address, and asks the employee to click on a link or send over a few documents. Without proper training or services to detect the fake email, that employee may click on a virus that infects your whole system or hand over private documents to a hacker without even knowing.
Almost 50% of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack, with nearly all attacks involving some form of social engineering.
Days later your entire system is compromised, you and your client’s data are in the hacker’s hands and you either must pay an exorbitant amount of money to get the data back or it’s lost forever and/or likely sold on the dark web. That is the threat of ransomware. Your company’s future, reputation, and data all rest on the hope that you have the protections in place to secure your data from cyber threats — because it’s not a question of if you’ll be attacked, but when.
The Three Ways to Prevent Cyberattacks — AID
Protecting your company data is paramount. Training your staff on identifying these threats and implementing tools and people to combat them is key to surviving as a small business — just as important as profit margins, customer satisfaction, and knowing your industry. Cybersecurity is all of these things, wrapped up in one fragile ecosystem. But there are ways to build resilience!
By creating a plan for action, not a plan of action, you can anticipate these challenges, minimize risk, and prevent these threats before they occur.
Gather your core team, senior leadership, investors, and key decision-makers within your company to gauge your current level of cybersecurity.
- Ask questions: Is somebody responsible for our company’s cybersecurity? What safeguards and plans do we have in place in the event of a cyberattack? Is our security strategy cohesive and thorough, or are there areas that require improvement? If necessary, can we identify and address our vulnerabilities?
Designate a key figure or company to take charge of your cybersecurity. Conduct a wide sweep of your entire organization to ensure that everyone is aware of cyber threats and can recognize them when they happen.
- Ask questions: Who should we put in charge of our cybersecurity, and/or should we hire an experienced company to protect and maintain our network and systems for us? What is our cybersecurity budget? How can we establish a system to promote accountability? What measures can we take to communicate and raise awareness regarding cybersecurity within our various departments and teams?
Create an inventory of your assets, assess their worth, and prioritize your most vital resources — intellectual properties, employee records, customer data, financial information, etc. Contemplate the ways you can protect those assets and weigh the benefits of partnering with a cybersecurity specialist or provider.
- Ask questions: Which assets do we need to safeguard the most? If a client/customer asks us to audit these assets, can we reliably show them that their information is safely protected? Should we enhance our security by backing up our data in a cloud-based solution? In the event of a natural disaster, is our data recoverable? If you are unsure of the answer to these questions, then you may need to seek the help of a cybersecurity specialist like BCT.
How Does BCT Protect My Business?
It is a widely known fact that year by year, the frequency of cyberattacks is steadily increasing. Among all the states in the US, California stands out for being at the forefront of cyberattack defense, having experienced more than twice the number of data breaches than any other state.
The confidentiality of your company’s private data should always be shrouded in secrecy. Just as you entrust a doctor to safeguard your health, it is imperative to rely on cybersecurity experts to safeguard your digital footprint and valuable company information.
Despite the alarming surge in cyberattacks by 50% in recent years, most small businesses overlook the importance of investing in cybersecurity. It is only a matter of time before a malevolent actor snatches your company’s sensitive and confidential data.
Rather than being an easy target, take action and protect your business and employees from potential harm. Make it a priority to remain competitive in the current landscape by implementing reliable cybersecurity measures.
Become one of the many business owners taking action to secure their company’s assets and data, and staying vigilant against the rising tide of cyberattacks by contacting one of our team members today.
BCT Consulting now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.
Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks