It’s easy for small businesses to become desensitized to cyber crimes when high profile companies are typically the ones spotlighted in the media. It’s important, however, for all business owners to realize they are at risk to such attacks; networks are not protected, the aftermath could prove to be very costly and time-consuming. BBB reminds business owners to reduce their vulnerability by implementing safeguards to protect their data.
“Cyber-attacks cost businesses more than $400 billion per year and affect 25% of small businesses”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “This means it is of utmost importance for businesses of all sizes to make sure adequate precautions to prevent an attack are taken.”
In keeping with Better Business Bureaus’ (BBB) mission to advance marketplace trust for all, BBB created a learning resource for cyber security best practices in the modern business environment. The State of Cybersecurity Report is an education resource which provides small to midsize businesses with tools, tips, and content for managing cyber risks. Providing insight into cyber security risks and practices, the report dispels common cyber security misperceptions, demonstrates the importance consumers place on cyber security, and provides a roadmap for cyber security education and awareness programs to protect smaller businesses and their customers.
The report covers the following myths and facts about cyber security:
Myth: Smaller businesses are not at risk of cyber attacks.
Fact: Sixty percent of all cyber attacks happen to small businesses, costing on average $7,115.2,3, and 41% of small businesses report they have been the victim of a cyber attack.
Myth: Small business owners can’t protect against cyber attacks.
Fact: While eliminating threats is impossible, protecting small businesses can be achieved through various actions, including having a security strategy in place, acquiring insurance and having IT in charge of data security, recycling outdated data center hardware. In fact, more than 6 out of 10 small businesses have an activity or a plan in place in the event of a cyber attack.
Myth: Lack of resources is the #1 reason small businesses don’t invest in cybersecurity efforts.
Fact: A lack of expertise and/or understanding is the #1 reason why small businesses are not proactive about cyber security. Our research suggests that additional education, direction and awareness efforts focused on smaller businesses are needed.
Myth: If a small business is hit by a cyber attack, their financial institution would cover the losses.
Fact: The burden of proof lies with businesses – not banks – when it comes to cyber incidents. For those firms whose business banking accounts were hacked, the average loss was $32,021.
To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please go to BBB Scam Tracker. For more information on how to be a savvy business owner, go to bbb.org. To network with BBB Accredited Businesses and other professionals, join our LinkedIn group or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Mechele Mills is the President|CEO for the Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas. Prior to her role at BBB, she led and consulted organizations of all sizes managing operations, sales marketing, and personnel for both the public and private sector. She holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism/PR from the University of Texas at Tyler and a Master’s in Business Administration from Baylor University.