Study: More Cyber Attacks Target Small Businesses

According to the National Small Business Association’s 2013 Small Business Technology Survey, 44 percent of small business owners have been the victim of a cyber attack with an average cost per attack of $8,700. The majority of attacks were resolved within three days, but 12 percent took more than a week for organizations to recover.

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, there was a 42 percent increase in targeted attacks in 2012, with 31 percent of these attacks aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees, an 18 percent increase from the previous year. Mobile malware increased 58 percent.

The statistics don’t lie. Small businesses are under siege like never before. Why? Most small businesses are easy targets.

While the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 77 percent of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) think their company is protected against security threats, 83 percent have no formal security plan and 66 percent aren’t concerned about it. As a result, the financial information, customer and employee data, and intellectual property of these organizations are appealing targets for hackers.

Not surprisingly, the cost, time and expertise required to develop and maintain adequate security are preventing most SMBs from effectively defending themselves against threats. Making matters more complicated is the emergence of mobile devices, cloud services and remote workforces, which have added a huge and layer of complexity to network security.

SMBs can make their networks more secure by developing, implementing, monitoring and enforcing clearly defined security policies and procedures.

  • Make sure employees are using complex passwords – a combination of letters, numbers and special characters – that are different from personal passwords.
  • Control the use of non-business applications that may create security risks.
  • Instead of relying on the end user’s consumer-grade antivirus software to keep your network secure, enterprise-grade software should be deployed and centrally managed by a network administrator.
  • Encrypt all sensitive data and make sure that only specific users can access this information.
  • Use a tested, automated backup solution to speed disaster recovery, as well as redundant systems that allow you to minimize downtime.
  • Keep all security patches up to date to guard against the latest security vulnerabilities.

While these steps are absolutely critical to ensuring network security, a lack of resources will continue to keep most SMBs from securing their networks. However, a managed services provider can protect your organization against the most sophisticated threats, using the latest firewalls, data encryption, data backup, disaster recovery and patch management solutions.

When Atlantic-IT.net is your outsourced IT department, we develop sound policies and procedures, remotely manage and monitor your network’s security 24×7, and help you maintain the highest levels of performance. Instead of making significant upfront investments in technology and personnel or putting security on the backburner, you can take advantage of our comprehensive security infrastructure, expertise and support.

Let Atlantic-IT.net be your outsourced IT department and prevent costly security breaches without compromising network performance.