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Small Business Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses and Startups

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Did you know that about 60% of small businesses shut down within 6 months by falling victim to a data breach or cyber-attack, where the average global breach cost hovers at $3.62 million? According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, the cost of 95% of incidents for small businesses can cost up to $653,587.

Moreover, the number of intrusion attempts in 2021 increased by 11% (5.3 trillion), cryptojacking by increased by 19% (97.1 million), and ransomware attacks increased by 105% (623.3 million).

Surprised? 

Well, SME owners and entrepreneurs often have difficult decisions to make, and their small business's cybersecurity becomes an afterthought to them. In turn, their businesses suffer the consequences of such an oversight. In 2021, more than 45% of data and security breaches impacted small businesses, among which phishing and denial-of-service attacks were the most common attack vectors.

Keeping small businesses and startups safe from hackers, data breaches, and losses of sensitive personal information requires more than antivirus software or a firewall. Undoubtedly, with the phenomenal world of opportunities – the Internet – where almost 150 TB of Internet traffic takes place each second, businesses now have the competency to reach wider and larger audiences, customers, and clients from all over the globe. 

At the same time, cybersecurity has become a foundational element of keeping a business running in today’s world. So, who needs cyber security? Every business owner must be aware of cyber threats, regulatory compliance, and the company’s security posture to assess where existing vulnerabilities may exist and could make them a target of cybercriminals. Entrepreneurs who are proactive in their security and risk management process and educate themselves on cyber trends and programs will stay ahead of their competition.

Implementing Cybersecurity for Small Business

A common misconception is that a cyberattack will never happen to your business because you are new or too small to be targeted, but that is untrue. 

Cybersecurity is undoubtedly crucial for any business – whether it’s a million-dollar corporation or a startup. However startups are more prone to data breaches and cyberattacks because there is a shortage of experienced professionals, smaller budgets, limited security awareness, old security measures, and failure in securing endpoints. 

Startups might not have an enormous scope of threat like larger businesses, but they still are entrusted with sensitive employee and customer information – and this is exactly what hackers are interested in. 

Data from Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) clearly specifies that 28% of small businesses were victims of data breaches. Considering the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy data, 99.9% of all businesses in the US are small businesses having less than 500 employees. Hence, plenty of startups and companies need help with cyber security.  

Moreover, the slightest hiccup can hinder business growth. According to Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, nearly 65% of small businesses have experienced some form of cybercrime, and among those, 60% of startups bust within the first six months of operations.  

Small businesses and startups can remain strong and steadfast against cybersecurity threats in their early stages by positioning cyber and IT risk management as a core function of the business. Without any professional monitoring of their risk and security posture, leaders will continue to make uninformed decisions based on dated or non-existing assessments. 

Best Practices For Protecting Small Businesses

Now that you are aware of the seriousness of cyberattacks, you are ready to tackle cybersecurity. Here are some tips to protect your small business from cyberattacks and hackers.

  • Be proactive and prevent damage before cyberattacks spiral out of control.
  • Increase awareness regarding the significance of cybersecurity 
  • Keep an eye on your social media accounts
  • Get hold of the right tool that offers an all-in-one solution
  • Create a culture of cybersecurity
  • Secure software and applications being used by the workforce
  • Implement multifactor authentication and single sign-on
  • Post-startup CISO jobs to get hold of competent, high-quality IT professionals
  • Invest in cost-effective anti-malware, firewall, and network security software
  • Create a robust cybersecurity plan
  • Protect your payment gateways

Advance Your Cybersecurity

With a limited budget, hiring a costly security consultant doesn’t seem like a viable option for your security solution. But, startups and SMBs can rely on CyberBase to do all the work for them in a single platform for your peace of mind. Monitor compliance in real-time, automated assessments, and crosswalk against multiple standards and frameworks with CyberBase.

For more information on SMB and startup risk management to protect your business, contact us.

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