3 Reasons Cybersecurity Risk Threatens Small Businesses

We’ve all read the statistics that say about half of all small businesses will fail within the first five years. Some failures happen because of a poor business model. Others may fail if market for the business’s products or services is smaller than anticipated.

But even if your product and market can support a sustainable business, your company can still fail if you’re not prepared to manage the risks your business faces. One of the biggest challenges your business faces in 2019, is cybersecurity risk.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that many small businesses recognize that they are unprepared to manage the cybersecurity risks they face in today’s business environment. According to the study, 55 percent say that they lack the personnel and expertise to deal with cyber risk, while 47 percent say they don’t know how to prevent a cyberattack.

Not Just Hackers; Consider Internal Cybersecurity Risk

When it comes to cybersecurity, most small business owners think of external hackers trying to access their key business data. Yet, according to a recent study by Datto, hackers account for only about a third (37 percent) of cyberattacks.

What many business owners don’t realize is that one of the biggest threats they face actually comes from internal risk; problems caused by their own employees, such as compromised or weak passwords. That lack of awareness is one reason why many smaller businesses don’t utilize technology such as password managers. According to the Ponemon study, only 22 percent of small businesses use a password manager to protect employee passwords.

That leaves more than three quarters of small businesses vulnerable to cyber attack due to compromised passwords.

Ransomware a Growing Concern

Another growing concern for small businesses when it comes to cybersecurity is ransomware. Once, the criminal entities behind ransomware attacks mainly targeted “big fish;” large companies from which they could demand huger ransoms. However today, they are increasingly targeting smaller businesses due to their lack of adequate security protocols.

The goal for today’s criminals is to demand smaller ransoms from a larger number of small businesses. Many of these attacks are succeeding. According to Datto, ransomware attempts affected 67 percent of the small businesses they served in the first half of 2018.

High Risk, High Cost to Your Business

Another recent survey by Hiscox, a business insurance firm, found that 47 percent of small businesses surveyed had experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months. 44 percent had experienced two or more attacks during that period. And the cost of those attacks can be astronomical for a small business. According to the report, the cost per attack averages between $84,000 and $187,000. For a small business that’s struggling, this is the kind of risk that could put you out of business.

Fortunately, small businesses don’t have to face these cybersecurity risks alone. Tolar Systems Complete Security provides round-the-clock, proactive protection to prevent cybersecurity risk that could put you out of business. Contact Tolar Systems today to learn more about how we can help you reduce your cybersecurity risk.