Contrary to popular opinion, small and mid-size businesses are at a greater risk for a cybersecurity attack than large corporations. But because many SMBs assume they’re not at risk, they rarely invest in security measures that could save their businesses.
Why Are Small and Mid-Size Businesses at Risk?
Regardless of the size of your business, cybercriminals who want to access your network will take advantage of any vulnerable attack surface. A single unprotected or improperly secured edge device can be all they need to access an entire system.
According to the Verizon Report, cyberattacks can occur in several different ways. 48% of last year’s breaches featured hacking while 30% included malware. Other less prevalent but still dangerous methods of attack were social attacks, privilege misuse or physical breaches.
A comprehensive approach to security is crucial for keeping cybercriminals at bay. Unfortunately, when it comes to the cybersecurity of physical security systems, many smaller organizations have a relatively haphazard approach. They roll out disparate solutions for access control and video surveillance which puts them at greater risk. And, as they grow or evolve, they add new cameras or technology as and when they can find the resources rather than developing a strategic plan to upgrade their system as a whole. This means that they may not be aware of potential points of attack on their evolving physical security network.
In addition, SMBs don’t always have a clear cybersecurity strategy that they communicate to every member of their team. The Verizon Report states that nearly one-fifth of system breaches occur because of human error. This can happen when an employee clicks on the wrong link or doesn’t adequately secure a device. Like any organization, an SMB can mitigate these errors through training and organization-wide awareness.
This takes a commitment from senior executives as well as an understanding of what is actually at risk. Unfortunately, SMBs tend to think that, because they aren’t dealing in billions of dollars, cybercriminals won’t bother attacking their networks. While they may believe they have less to lose to a cyberattack than these organizations, they are actually at a greater risk that their business might not survive the fallout or clean-up.
The Impact of a Data Breach on SMBs
When a multinational or global company is attacked, the cost can be astronomical whereas, according to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost for small businesses to clean up after being hacked is about $690,000 and, for middle market companies, it is over $1 million.
To an outsider, this may seem less significant in comparison with the high-profile cases that make it to the top of the news cycle, but these costs represent a huge financial burden for an SMB. In fact, according to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small companies are unable to sustain their business more than six months following a cyberattack. They frequently just don’t have the resources.