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Small Business Data Security Woes – One Cyberattack Makes 60% Close

Published: July 22, 2023 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

Most small business owners admit it takes perseverance to succeed in today’s global market. However, that dedication can be undermined in the blink of a cybercrime. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses close within six months of a cyberattack. That doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel, but rather shows the need for a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to help your small business prosper today and tomorrow.

“Cyberattacks only happen to big companies with lots of valuable data and assets to steal”

Not true. Research shows 59% of small business owners without a cybersecurity plan think their business is too small to attract cybercrime. Small businesses have plenty of valuable information stored, including sensitive business data, and customer data like payment card details, passwords, and other PII.

Below are tips to help small business owners do a cybersecurity reality check and move forward with a comprehensive data security plan.

Assess your cybersecurity status. Gather leadership teams for an honest assessment of your current data security. Consider any protections already in place, are they integrated, any weak spots, and where improvement is needed.

Determine who is best in charge of your data security. Get input from all department heads, IT, lawyers, and accountants. Determine who is best designated as security leader and the source of accountability who communicates the security process to all employees.

Prioritize your assets by determining their value. Take inventory of your data and decide what’s most valuable, not only to you but also to a cybercriminal. Consider customer PII and other critical data you store to do business. Decide what needs protection most, how best to do it, and continue down the list.

Determine the best way to achieve your security plan. This may include partnering with a cybersecurity consultant who knows what measures work best for your business. Consider options like in-house security, cloud-based, third-party provider, or a mix of all three.

Provide cybersecurity awareness training for employees on all levels, including C-Suite. It’s a necessary part of any successful security plan because all staff are vulnerable to attack. While your cybersecurity plan should be reviewed at least annually, training should be performed more than annually since cyberattacks trend and change throughout the year and over time.

Don’t forget to review the complete cybersecurity plan when someone with responsibility within it leaves the organization.

One more statistic for the road…research finds 46% of all cyberattacks target small businesses.

Now you know – in today’s ever-expanding threat landscape, crossing your fingers is no longer an option.

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