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November 18, 2016

Could Your Small Business Survive a Cyberattack?

If you trust your sensitive data to a free cloud storage service, you’re courting disaster. Yet, about 25 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do just that.

Internet storage services are at heightened risk from cyberattacks in comparison to private cloud or legacy storage environments that have more stringent security safeguards. Even encrypted online data isn’t safe. After all, the provider typically holds the keys, so any rogue employee could potentially decrypt and look at your data.

Still, somehow, 77 percent of U.S. small businesses think their online data is safe from cyberthreats such as hackers, viruses, malware and breaches, according to new research sponsored by the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec. Unfortunately, this optimism is often misplaced. Earlier Symantec research revealed that cyberattacks aimed at small companies have doubled since 2011.

Almost half of cyberattacks worldwide, 43 percent, in 2015, were against small businesses with less than 250 workers, Symantec reports. The effects are potentially catastrophic: the National Small Business Association found that cyberattacks cost small businesses on average $7,115, but $32,000 where business banking accounts were hacked. The NCSA reports that 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a cyberattack.

What can SMBs do now to protect their data and their very survival?

First of all, they should create a formal written Internet security policy for employees—the weakest link in security—since 87 percent of small businesses have one or more employees who use the Internet daily for operations, per Symantec. The policy should encompass social media use on the job, and rules for handling customer and employee information.

Second, they ought to develop a contingency plan that outlines how to respond to and report on data breach losses.

Most important, we urge small businesses to stop using free cloud storage services.

Apex Technology Services can reduce cybersecurity risks for your small business. We provide the guidance and support that is needed to manage your own private cloud or legacy storage system. Let us help you migrate your data away from the public cloud, and into an environment that is secure and fully owned by your business.

Take back control of your data. Click here to get started.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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