Let’s face it, if you’re doing business online, you’re vulnerable to cyber attacks. And although it should be a big deal for all businesses, cyber security isn’t always on the list of top concerns for many small to medium sized business (SMBs) owners. Even though the digital transformation continues to take over traditional ways of dealing with data, communications, and daily business transactions, some businesses don’t feel they are vulnerable. In fact, many (SMBs) do not even know when they are under attack or if their current security measures are effective in fending off threats. To make matters worse, they may have been a victim of cyber attacks and never even knew what happened.
Making security a priority
Cyber security should be on the minds of all business leaders. After all, the last thing anyone wants is an unknown entity accessing highly-sensitive files or trying to intercept network traffic going to or from the server. Then there’s identity fraud, intellectual property crimes, and so much more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless ways that your business could be under attack from a hidden enemy. But businesses are also susceptible to internal attacks. For example, disgruntled employees could also cause havoc to your system. So, how do you even begin to deal with protecting your systems and data?
Realize your vulnerability
If you’re like most business leaders, your day is pulled in all different directions. Finding the time to make yourself knowledgeable about your system’s security is difficult with everything else that’s going on. But the reality is that SMBs are vulnerable and often considered “soft” targets for cybercrime. Thomas Koulopoulos, Founder of Delphi Group warns that “the most frequent threat is actually to small and midsized businesses.” In addition, in a USA Today article, Steven Strauss, warned that “almost two-thirds of all cyberattacks are now directed at small business.” Despite this vulnerability, a national survey of 1,000 small business owners, in a 2017 Nationwide Business Owners Attitudes and Usage Study, showed that 76 percent “think cyber attacks are unlikely to affect their businesses.” Thinking that it can’t happen to you is risky business. By beginning to understand the risks, you can start to take steps to protect your systems.
Know the risks
You’ve heard it many times before that prevention is the best medicine. It holds true in protecting your business as well. You wouldn’t want to rely on an old and worn out bob wire fence to protect your physical assets, would you? Well, your digital assets are just valuable, if not more valuable. And logically, the more digital your processes become, the more likely the threat to your business. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) knows all too well the risks that are associated with business systems. They provide a Top Ten list, which is a collection of the most critical security risks to web applications, including SQL injection, XSS attacks, etc., all of which are capable of bringing a business down to its digital knees.
Stave off breaches
Starting out with the right software designed to stave off breaches to your system in the first place is the best possible start. Ideally, your system should be able to block attempts and threats before they cause problems to your business systems. Writing good code is crucial from the beginning and will protect you from cyber attacks. So, if you are like many SMBs, you may be thinking about upgrading or replacing your current software to accommodate your growing business. If you are considering a new platform, make security a priority along with your wish list of features and functionality.
According to the National Cyber Alliance (NCA), over 50% of businesses have experienced an attack and nearly 60% of SMBs close their doors after 6 months as a result. And if your company is innovative, NCA says that you are in a worse position since you are even more likely to be a target. Security is serious business for all companies. If you’re like many SMBs, you may find yourself dealing with an old software system or no system at all. Either way you are leaving yourself open to the many threats that exist today and continue to evolve. Take the time now to make a system upgrade or have a secure, custom platform handle your business operations. It’s just not worth the risk.
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