No business is too small to take cybercrime seriously. As businesses become more reliant on technology, the more doors open to cyber threats. Do you know them?
Your business cannot function at its best without technology that connects you to your clients, suppliers and services. Today, we create, collect and share more information than ever and this trend is here to stay. With this, your business has new security concerns and a modern-day crime that was fairly unknown to businesses just two decades ago – cyber-attacks.
You need to know how it works to make sure you implement ways to protect your business and to make sure your business recovers from a cyber-attack or data breach.
Your small business is an easy target with valuable information
The reality is that small businesses are fast becoming the preferred target for cyber-attacks from hackers. The number and severity of cyber-attacks on smaller businesses keep growing and these attacks can be random or targeted on your business.
Small businesses are easier and attractive targets because:
- There is often a lack of strong security measures or clear understanding of the risks of cyber-attacks.
- The information your small business has is more valuable than you think. Your business has a valued type of personal information on clients – contact details, identity details and bank or credit card information. You also have a supplier or service network that hackers could attempt to access through your business.
Where the threats lie
Owning a business requires that you work with other businesses, that you employ people to help you reach your goals and that you have the systems in place to deliver your service or product. In the daily operation of your business, you have to know who and what could be a threat:
- Criminals - they operate alone or in groups and can have different reasons for attacking your business, including financial or economic gain. It disrupts your business and they get hold of your customers’ personal and other information.
- Clients - even your clients can pose a risk when they want to use your business information for personal gain or with malicious intent.
- Competitors - your business is doing well and your competitors want to know how you do it. They can obtain inside information to get a competitive advantage over your business.
- Employees - current or former employees can accidentally or intentionally put your business at risk through inappropriate sharing of your business information and data.
- Hackers - they get access to your business information through lost or stolen devices like cellphones, laptops and memory sticks.
What do you have to lose from a cyber-attack or data breach?
Never get too laidback and think that your business is too small, that you don’t have valuable information or that the security measures you have in place will stay relevant. It is estimated that up to 60% of small businesses that experience a significant cyber-attack or breach go out of business within six months of the event.
The effects that a cyber-attack can have on your business are devastating and broad:
There are many financial losses from a cyber-attack or data breach. You can lose money, business information and strategic plans or intellectual property. The disruption in your operations can results in loss of productivity, clients and business contracts – even closing the doors.
The good reputation of a business is an invaluable asset. Following a cyber-attack, your business can suffer from a damaged reputation. This can lead to loss of business relationships, partners, contracts, clients and ultimately trust.
There are laws that protect information. When these laws are broken, your business could face fines as well as legal action and compensation of clients affected by any breaches in data.
The consequences of a cyber-attack reach far and there are many hidden costs, like the costs to investigate the matter and costs to get your business back on track after the disruption. Don’t let your business down – be aware of the threats and respond by protecting it with the right security and insurance.
Get innovative business cover, including cover for the risks of today
Discovery Business Insurance, in partnership with specialist companies, give you cover and services to manage the evolving and modern risks your business faces, including cyber risks, reputational risks and legal risks. Our cyber insurance cover provides a holistic approach in helping you to both understand and mitigate the cyber-risks of your business. As part of our partnership with AVeS Cyber Security, you get access to protection packages at discounted rates to know and address the risks and to protect your business from the effects of a cyber-attack. Get more information here.
Most people use social media. Free WiFi has become a commodity in the “always on” lifestyle and where we work is no longer limited to an office building. Do your employees know the safety risks?
The internet has given businesses new ways to grow and reach customers. Computers and digital innovations have also opened new doors for criminals to target businesses. Don’t become a statistic of the rising cybercrime tide.
Charl Ueckermann, CEO of AVeS Cyber security Joined Fred Roed to talk about cyber threats facing all small, medium and large businesses. The IT and cyber security landscape is changing rapidly and many underestimate the risks.