The last thing SMBs want to deal with in 2021 is cybersecurity, but, sadly, the world we live in demands they do, especially amid a global pandemic.
Cybercriminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic to their advantage. There have been 4,000 cyberattacks a day since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. If SMBs aren’t careful, they’re going to be worse off in the new year.
Here’s what SMBs should know about cybersecurity in 2021.
SMBs simply aren’t prepared for potential cyberattacks
Forty-three percent of SMB owners have no cybersecurity defense plan in place at all, according to research published by cybersecurity company BullGuard. In a rapidly changing landscape of ever-increasing threats, that’s a scary thought. If you’re not prepared for cybersecurity threats, you and your customers are at risk. Protect your IT infrastructure and customer data by putting a cybersecurity defense plan in place.
Take IT downtime seriously
SMBs can’t handle their IT systems being down for long, even though 40 percent of SMBs experienced at least eight hours of downtime following a security breach, according to a study conducted by Cisco. If that doesn’t sound like a long time, consider the financial impact IT downtime may have on your business. For instance, IT downtime can cost SMBs up to $50,000 per hour. Do you have that kind of money on hand? Many SMBS don’t.
Strengthen your passwords but do more
Passwords aren’t always reliable. In fact, your company’s data is vulnerable when your employees use weak passwords. Without a doubt, weak passwords are contributing to the growing number of data breaches. Eighty-one percent of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords, according to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Not only that, but 70 percent of employees reuse passwords at work (a scary statistic for many reasons). Many cybersecurity professionals suggest two-factor authentication (2FA) for another layer of protection.
Get used to the word “phishing”
If you’re not familiar with phishing, you should be. More than half of SMBs experienced phishing and social engineering attacks, according to Ponemon’s Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Businesses report. Essentially, phishing is when a malicious actor attempts to gain sensitive information by posing as a legitimate source. For example, you receive an email about your Office 365 account. It’s not really from Microsoft, and you, not knowing it’s not from Microsoft, enter your credentials. Educate yourself on how to spot phishing emails to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to one.
If SMBs don’t start taking cybersecurity seriously, they will be in a world of hurt in 2021. Cybersecurity should be top of mind as you move further into the new year. Assess where your organization is currently and make the necessary adjustments before you fall victim to a cyberattack.