– By: Grace Estle –
As we approach the end of the year, our minds often drift toward the holidays. However, October focuses on more than just Halloween and holiday shopping.
Welcome to National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a partnership between our government and the security industry. Their goal is to provide internet users with vital tools and tricks on how to stay secure in cyberspace. During the week of October 20-24, this organization will shift its attention to SMBs in order to introduce practices that protect growing businesses.
Cyber Threats for SMBs
Do you remember hearing about invasions at Target, Home Depot, and Neiman Marcus? Malware infected their credit card systems, snatching millions of shoppers’ personal data.
Although these types of stories flood the headlines the majority of the time, SMBs are just as vulnerable to online threats. In fact Small Business Computing notes that a whopping 70% of SMBs are victims of data breaches. Last October a threat known as Backoff started stealing credit card numbers. Andrew Bagrin, Founder of My Digital Shield, a cloud-based provider of small business data security services, stated, “ . . . there are hundreds of small businesses affected.”
Remember that malware like Backoff infiltrate SMBs at an indirect level too. For example, if a major retailer that supplies your products gets corrupted, the threat can trickle down to your company.
In either instance the effects for SMBs are tremendous. “Sixty percent of small businesses that are hit with data breaches shutter their doors within six months,” said Bagrin, “because they can’t survive the impact.” The reason for this devastating result is simple. Each breached record generates fees of roughly $108. When you apply this amount to thousands of credit card transactions, many SMBs do not possess the ability to recover.
Cyber Security for SMBs Resources
When it comes to online security, NCSAM wraps this process up perfectly: “Cybersecurity begins with a simple message everyone using the Internet can adopt: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online, and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.”
To learn more about protecting your business, check out the infographic below. For even more support, visit NCSAM’s website.
Click to Enlarge
Meet the Author
Grace Estle: During my 13 years of media experience, I have witnessed the industry transform in terms of platforms and audiences. Guiding local businesses on how to effectively market their products/services remains my passion. I enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and sharing those key insights. If knowledge equals power, then technology equals opportunity.