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Small businesses are routinely tasked with making important decisions on a daily basis. Often with limited resources, key decision makers within organizations are responsible for balancing risk, profitability, cost, and competitiveness. Understandably, priority is often given to the core revenue stream of the organization. Supplemental considerations such as overhead and the IT environment tend to be lower on the day-to-day priority list. Unfortunately, there are real risks towards small businesses when it comes to cyber-attacks. A 2017 study by the Ponemon Institute showed that 61% of small and midsized businesses (SMB) experienced a cyber-attack or data breach in the last 12 months. This figure is up from 55% the year before.
While large corporate cyber-attacks and data breaches often make the news, there is a significant and increasing number of attacks on SMBs which are not widely publicized. A 2018 report by Verizon found that almost 60% of all cyber-attacks directly targeted SMBs this past year. As large corporations tighten their controls and allocate additional capital to protect against threats, it is inevitable that the pressure will be increasingly applied to SMBs. SMBs need to decide whether to accept the very real risk of a cyber-attack or to take proactive measures to mitigate and reduce the risk towards their organization.
We believe there is a strong financial case to be made for proactively addressing the risks before an attack occurs. UPS Capital found that the average small business cyber-attack costs between $84,000 and $148,000, and 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a significant attack occurring. In addition to the tangible and immediate costs of an attack, the intangible and often drawn out implications are far-reaching. The impact can extend to legal remediation, loss of critical information, operational downtime, employee frustration, and reputational damage just to name a few.
If you or your organization have questions as to how you can proactively address risks before a cyber attack occurs or other cybersecurity topics, please reach out to our team. We're here to help protect your business.