Think Your Business Is Too Small to Get Hacked? Wake Up!
Sixty percent of small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) go bankrupt six months after suffering a cyberattack. The risk is simply too great. SMBs need to strengthen their digital security.
Uber…Equifax…Yahoo…if you look only at the headlines, you’d probably think that digital attackers target just large corporations. Many small business owners are of this viewpoint. According to a 2017 survey by Paychex, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of small business owners are not worried about their business being hacked. Not only that, but the same study revealed that 90 percent of small business owners feel at least somewhat confident that their organization could recover from a security incident in the event one happened.
This perspective boils down to the fact that many SMBs don’t feel they’re important enough to suffer a digital attack. As the Huffington Post found in a survey, small businesses reasoned that they’re safe because they don’t store sensitive information. But more than half of organizations admitted to storing email addresses (68 percent), phone numbers (64 percent), and billing addresses (54 percent). Such a disconnect suggests that SMBs don’t understand the value of the personally identifiable information (PII) they currently store.
It also explains why SMBs just aren’t investing in their digital security. This reality became apparent in a 2015 small business technology survey conducted by Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC). In the study, a third of small business owners said that they manage their own network security solutions, while 27 percent disclosed that they don’t use any security solution.
These findings are consistent with those of other studies, including the following:
- The vast majority of businesses divulged to the Huffington Post that they’re doing little to prepare themselves against online threats. This lack of preparation extends to their dismissal of basic digital security hygiene. For example, just 38 percent of SMBs stated that they upgrade their security solutions and 22 percent encrypt databases.
- Sixty-five percent of respondents to a 2017 Ponemon Institute report laid bare that they don’t strictly enforce their own password security policies.
- A PwC survey found that companies with less than $100 million in revenue actually reduced their digital security spending. They cut their budgets despite the fact that digital attacks themselves became more numerous than ever over the course of the year.
Clearly, many small- and mid-sized businesses have simply dismissed the notion that they need to worry about digital security. CloudEntr uncovered as much when 60 percent of SMBs said that recent data breaches had no impact on their security policies. It’s, therefore, no surprise that three-quarters of SMBs told IDT911 that they don’t have any cyber insurance. They don’t think they’ll suffer an attack themselves, so why waste resources in protecting themselves in the event that they suffer one?
The Consequences of Treating Digital Security as an Afterthought
Such an inadequate response to digital security threats has had a, well, predictable response. As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found back in 2015, small businesses have increasingly become easier targets for digital attackers than enterprises, as SMBs possess fewer resources with which they can defend themselves against the same types of digital threats targeting large enterprises. This disparity makes SMBs softer targets for online criminals. Indeed, it’s no wonder why data compiled by SCORE showed that almost half of all digital attacks (43 percent) now target small businesses.
Not surprisingly, it’s also bad when one of these digital attacks is successful. Without proper digital security safeguards, bad actors can essentially run through a victim SMB’s network and do whatever they want. And without cyber insurance, SMBs have little chance of recovering from the costs associated with a data breach. That’s why 60 percent of small businesses go bankrupt just six months after suffering a digital attack, as reported by BankInfoSecurity.
The Future of Digital Security for SMBs
Small business owners – you really need to step up your game if you hope to adequately protect your business against digital threats. And we get it, that you wear many hats and security may not be one of them. But you don’t have to figure it all out yourselves and go it alone.
Most SMBs obviously aren’t large enough to have their own security teams, but you can look to the expertise and capabilities of a security services provider that can fulfill your digital security needs. Just don’t go with the first managed security services provider (MSSP) you find. It’s essential to do your research carefully and look for a company that uses an AI-based security solution to monitor the network for suspicious activity while helping its own analysts navigate the growing flood of alerts across their entire client base. Otherwise, as I said before, the volume of alerts will outstrip their capacity to investigate them, increasing the risk that an attack will get past their defenses and reach your business.
That’s where Lastline comes in. Unlike other AI solutions, Lastline blends network traffic analysis with sandboxing to monitor for anomalous behavior and to evaluate these findings for malicious indicators. This technique enables Lastline to provide high-fidelity insights into what’s truly going on without generating false positives that waste the MSSP analysts’ time.
We have selected and trained very high-quality MSSPs to use our software on behalf of their SMB customers. It’s a relationship that could save your business without requiring you to become a security expert so that you can continue to focus on all of the other parts of keeping your business running smoothly.