Can Small Business Beat Cyber Attacks?

According to Verizon's 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of Cyber Attacks are aimed at small businesses and the weakest link is lack of employee Cyber understanding – every member of the team needs continual training. A recent UK government survey estimated that the average cost of a small business cyberattack is between £65,000 and £115,000. 

Cybercrime recovery potentially involves many measures, including identifying and fixing the problem, replacing damaged software and hardware, hiring specialist IT security consultants, hiring a PR firm to manage a damaged reputation, and hiring a solicitor to deal with clients who’ve had their own business compromised as a result of cybercrime.

It is clear that an attack would be a massive upheaval for most small businesses. As well as following its cyber protection advice, the Federation of Small Businesses has stressed the need for smaller companies to put in place specific cyber protection solutions to guard against this significant risk.

A good cybersecurity strategy is essential for any business, no matter its size, but in the midst of a sever lack of security experts, what’s a small business to do?

It’s a vexing question as cybercriminals continue to score goal after goal with simple attacks such as phishing emails, in which attackers use already-compromised passwords to access users’ other work and personal accounts.

In Australiane Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) stats confirm that businesses there also remain extremely vulnerable to the attacks. A server containing 1.2 billion personal profiles including 622m email addresses was recently discovered. Small businesses make up more than 97 per cent of Australia’s businesses, even those that recognise the need to improve security can struggle to give it the priority of major enterprises.

By contrast, 62 per cent of small businesses are sole traders and 27 per cent have just 1 to 4 employees. Margins are often tight, leaving little left over to spend on cybersecurity tools and even less for the six-figure salaries needed to lure cybersecurity specialists.

Throw in the challenges of a market with an estimated 100,000-person IT skills gap making it is ‘very difficult’ to recruit cybersecurity specialists, and small businesses are vulnerable to an unchecked stream of cybersecurity threats.
There were 60 per cent more cybersecurity threats against healthcare organisations, the majority of which are small businesses, in the first three quarters of this year than in all of 2018.

Detecting, stopping and recovering from such attacks requires a broad range of security skills, while proactive defences takes job descriptions to a whole new level. Yet even those companies that do manage to hire an IT person with some cybersecurity experience often find their capabilities limited. 

In light of the ever-increasing threat, now is the time to protect your business against cybercrime. Increase your ability to prevent cybercrime within your SME by adopting best practice and awareness training, and increase your ability to recover by adopting cyber insurance. Neither need to be costly, but they could save your business.

Please contact Cyber Security Intelligence for advice and help.

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