Small Businesses Unprepared for Cyberattacks
Most U.S. small businesses are woefully unprepared for cyberattacks, a new survey finds.
The survey, from insurer Nationwide, found that most small-business owners (78 percent) still don’t have a cyberattack response plan, even though more than half (54 percent) were victim to at least one type of cyberattack.
A full 60 percent of those who did experience a cyberattack said it took longer than a month to recover.
By contrast, of those who have not encountered a cyberattack, more than half (57 percent) think their company could recover within a month.
And yet, business owners seem to be even less concerned about their unpreparedness than they were last year.
Nationwide said that 45 percent of small-business owners who do not have a cyberattack response plan in place said they don’t feel their company will be affected by a cyberattack.
Only 40 percent were this confident last year.
As they say, “denial is not a river in Egypt.” Indeed, for small business owners denial could lead to a very costly event.
On the plus side, the majority (68 percent) of business owners are at least somewhat concerned about a potential cyberattack affecting their business.
They (rightly) worry about these common attacks:
- Computer virus (37 percent)
- Phishing (20 percent)
- Trojan horse (15 percent)
- Hacking (11 percent)
- Unauthorized access to customer information (7 percent)
- Unauthorized access to company information (7 percent)
- Issues due to unpatched software (6 percent)
- Data breach (6 percent)
- Ransomware (4 percent)
So, what can business owners do?
One of the most effective defenses is 100% free: change passwords often, use hard-to-crack passwords (no birthdays or pet names) and don’t leave passwords written down on post-it notes, or taped under drawers.
There are also a ton of free (or cheap) anti-virus and anti-malware programs available. Maintaining your cybersecurity using off-the-shelf products takes very little time.
But for many business owners, the big issue in protecting their systems is time – or rather a lack thereof. For these busy souls, the answer is to hire someone. Usually, a trained professional can upgrade security to a basic level in just a few hours.
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