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Rising Cyberthreats and Overconfident Small Businesses

December 16, 2021

Cyberattacks are on the rise. You’ve probably heard that a million times by now. But the past 12 months in the world of cybersecurity have been nothing short of extraordinary.

rising-cyberthreats-and-overconfident-small-businesses.pngDevices like coffee makers and vacuum cleaners are suddenly becoming a part of the digital citizenry. The pandemic-spurred remote work drive has pushed millions to sharply increase their reliance on technology. A rise in cyberattacks is the natural consequence of this astronomical growth in potential targets.

This is proven by the 600% increase in malicious emails ever since the pandemic kicked in. We even saw the largest ransomware payout a few months ago when an insurance provider was forced to cough up a $40 million payout.

After looking at how concerning the future of cyber safety looks, you’d think that businesses—small to medium businesses in particular—would take their cybersecurity more seriously. But as a recent survey has shown, the reality seems to be the opposite.

Small Business Owners Are NOT Prepared for Today’s Cyberthreat Landscape

CNBC recently released the results of their Momentive Q3 Small Business Survey. To say that the results are surprising would be an understatement.

Out of all the businesses surveyed, only 13% of respondents claimed to be “very concerned” about cyber threats. Whereas a stunning 56% believe that cyber threats are not a threat to their business.

This unfortunate attitude towards cybersecurity among small businesses is typically rooted in the false belief thatrising-cyberthreats-and-overconfident-small-businesses.png the size of their business makes them an unlikely target. They believe that attackers wouldn’t target them because of how little there is to gain from infiltrating their systems. But as any expert in the cyber incident response industry will tell you, the reality couldn’t be any further.

From small family restaurants and single-owner retail shops to lawnmowers and Uber drivers, no business is too small of a target for cybercriminals. As Verizon noted in its 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, small and medium businesses account for 43% of all data breaches.

A big contributor to this disturbing fact is the rise of ransomware-as-a-service providers. These groups, typically operating over the dark web, offer their ransomware programs to unskilled and aspiring hackers looking to make a quick buck. And what better target for these “petty criminals” of the digital world than the small mom-and-pop stores around them?

What makes things worse is that the average ransomware attack can cost businesses upwards of $170,000. That’s enough to bankrupt an SMB, so it’s no surprise that 60% of businesses close shop within 6 months of a security breach.

How You Can Protect Your Business Against Cyber Threats

Unlike the overconfident 62% of respondents in that CNBC survey, you should put a cyber defense plan in place to minimize your risk of a breach and the damages from it.

Your cyber defense plan should include:

rising-cyberthreats-and-overconfident-small-businesses.pngOf course, you can greatly minimize your cyber risk profile but you can never bring it down to zero. A tiny misstep or lapse in judgment is all it takes to become the next victim of cybercrime. For this reason, we cannot stress the importance of investing in cyber liability insurance enough.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your organization’s cybersecurity, contact us at ask@optistartech.com or visit here to schedule a 30 minute free consultation with one of our Senior IT Consultants! 


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