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Cybersecurity: Not just for big businesses

Cybersecurity: you see it all over the news; you hear about it every day, but are you taking the precautions necessary to protect your small business from a cyber attack?

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, small businesses were targeted 18 percent of the time in 2011. Just last year, that number rose to an alarming 43 percent. Just because your business is small, doesn’t mean you aren’t a target for cyber-criminals.

The Better Business Bureau reports that the average loss from a cyber attack is almost $80,000. That amount of loss would do significant damage to any small business. The report also indicated that half of the small businesses studied would only remain profitable for about a month after that kind of hack. By implementing a few simple strategies, small business owners and their employees can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to an online hacker.

Three tips for small businesses to reduce the risk of a cyber attack:

  1. Recognize the risk. Some businesses handle more sensitive information than others. Luckily, there are formulas available to assess your risk and calculate the best investment in cybersecurity for your company. According to the Better Business Bureau, “as long as the potential savings exceeds the cost of investment, it’s a cost-effective measure that should be implemented.”
  2. Educate employees. To protect your business against the threat of online attacks, employees must have proper training. Inc.com shares important security tips including educating employees on the importance of security and completely disabling access when an employee leaves the company.
  3. Call in the professionals. You can’t do it all, and if your business handles particularly sensitive information, it may be worth the price tag to bring in a professional IT firm. These firms can audit your organization to help assess and repair any holes that may be present in your current security systems.

A single cyber attack carries a high price tag. Especially when left unarmed, your business may fall prey to online hackers. Start by educating yourself and your staff on the risks and best practices, and know when to call in the pros.