Cyberattacks are an all too common occurrence in business these days, but many business owners are quick to argue that managing them isn’t as hard as it used to be. Business owners' relaxed attitudes toward internet threats can be attributed to the fact that productivity and resource planning software solutions that businesses use are already specced-out with cybersecurity features. But the problem is that these security features barely scratch the surface of today's numerous and ever-evolving threats.
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What's more alarming is that many of today's threats are no longer overnight breaches or chance attacks. Hackers are stealthier than ever and attack operators are willing to work for weeks or months on end to successfully execute an attack.
Given that, should your business worry about cyber attacks?
In a nutshell, yes
Cybercriminals don’t discriminate between big and small businesses. For most of them, all companies (and even individuals) are fair game. And most forms of cyberattacks these days start off with automated reconnaissance and infiltration, so these attacks do damage long before most victims notice them. Just because you don’t see or feel an attack doesn’t mean that your business isn’t under attack.
Some important points to ponder
1. US companies and individuals are the top cyberthreat targets in the world
According to a study by Enigma Software, American businesses are the top cyberthreat targets in the world. Little Rock, Arkansas is the worst-hit city, as it sits at 1,400% above the national average of malware infections per city.
2. US businesses face a wide array of cyberthreats
A survey by Nationwide revealed that 44% of US companies surveyed experienced computer viruses, 30% experienced phishing scams, and 22% have dealt with Trojan horses. The survey also showed that almost all of the respondents have experienced at least one instance of the following cyberthreats: computer viruses, phishing, Trojan horses, hacking, data breach, unpatched software, unauthorized customer information access, or illegal company information access.
3. The overwhelming majority of SMB owners handle cyberthreats themselves
A survey by Endurance International Group found that 83% of the business owners they surveyed handle their business’s cybersecurity themselves. This is despite the fact that the sheer majority of these business owners do not have intensive background knowledge on cybersecurity. Also, an alarming 6% of the respondents claim to have no cybersecurity software/tools whatsoever.
4. Most companies neglect to update their security plan — if they have one
The Ponemon Institute surveyed US business owners on how often they updated their security plans, and the results are alarming. Thirty-six percent of respondents stated that they had not set a time period to update their cybersecurity plan. Meanwhile, 35% of respondents stated that they had not reviewed their plan since it was put in place, while 25% of respondents stated that they update their security plans once a year.
5. Antivirus software alone is not enough
Many industry experts today claim that while almost 99% of businesses use antivirus software, 86% of them will still suffer from virus and worm attacks. With many SMB owners taking on cyberthreats themselves and with most business cybersecurity plans neglected, it’s not hard to see why merely installing antivirus software fails to keep cyberthreats at bay.
What you can do
Cyberthreats are constantly being improved and tweaked by online crooks, so the war against internet threats must be given a proactive approach. And because internet threats like viruses, ransomware attacks, and phishing scams are always evolving, continuous improvements to a security system is crucial.
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You would be well served to beef up your security systems with multiple layers of security. Ensure that your communications systems are secure from external threats, implement policies for proper management and storage of data, and conduct regular audits of your system to confirm its integrity.
An excellent way to go about protecting your business without spending too much money is to partner with a reputable managed IT solutions provider. They can assess your system for gaps you may have overlooked and provide you with security solutions to meet your budget and your needs.
Take your business to a new era of cybersecurity with USWired. We provide advanced threat protection, email and spam protection, secure endpoint solutions, and more. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.