Cyberattack Protection For Small Businesses

It seems as of late the IT security professionals of the world are becoming increasingly unhappy with the security products and services they are using.  I have the pleasure of speaking at conferences around the globe and often find myself lending a sympathetic ear to tired administrators lamenting about the security products their organizations are using.  A common remark is that existing technology is inherited, and not what they would implement today. In some cases, adding to the frustration, administrators cannot obtain budget approval to implement what’s necessary in order to adequately protect their organizations. 

So why the compromise?

Smaller businesses have smaller IT security budgets than large enterprises. In some cases, they are also governed by the same set of external compliance regulations as a large multinational corporation and, unfortunately, attackers are well aware of this.  As a result, these small businesses are not only a primary target but are also highly susceptible to business-impacting breaches.  A few years ago I frequently heard: “We’re too small; we’re not a target,” or “We wouldn’t be worth attacking.” But thanks (for lack of a better word) to the billion-dollar business that cybercrime has become, everyone is a target and no one is out of reach – no matter the size of the businesses.  Attackers are not looking to breach the fortress; they are looking for a small open window. They poke, prod and find their way into your organization often by tricking users to click on URLs, opening attachments, or sending money or sensitive data, often by asking “very, very nicely.” 

Many small organizations have told me they have trained their users to be cautious, saying:  “I’ve known Jayne or John for years and they’d never fall for something like that.”  Being in an organization where you know everyone, you tend to build trust. While big businesses may have the resources to protect and recover from a breach, others may not.  An attack on a large enterprise could disrupt their business and profits on the margin, but that margin becomes exponentially more significant with smaller organizations.  A breach may not only mean the loss of revenue but could significantly impact their ability to actually operate – a breach could even put a small organization out of business.

I have good news for the concerned IT professionals of the world: Advanced Security solutions are not out of reach.  

It’s time to start thinking about the future and the planning begins today. Evaluate your current infrastructure, identify what can be removed and consolidated, and then see that the benefits of change can far outweigh the cost.  Dollars and cents make sense when your company is at stake. (Ok, even I admit - that last line is even a bit cheesy for my taste).  Small organizations do have options when it comes to security believe it or not.  The first step is to find those organizations that can provide enterprise-level security.  

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