How serious are data breaches and viruses? If you asked this to a small business owner, most often than not, you’ll get “I don’t know; it won’t happen to me, anyway”. This is where lies the problem.

Cybersecurity

You see, everyone thinks that data breaches, viruses, and other cybersecurity issues happen to someone else. Being a small business, an owner thinks that his business is too insignificant to be attacked.

Unfortunately, that’s just a wrong assumption. CNN reported that small businesses are cybercriminals’ easiest prey. Indeed, cyber-attacks can happen to anyone, anytime. Big or small, multi-million-dollar companies or quarter-a-million-dollar companies.

The problem with the false assumption is that small business owners don’t do what’s necessary to protect their business from the bad guys; this is what costs businesses dearly.

35 percent of businesses are said to have lost data due to flawed IT security. This is significant, especially when your business’ survivability depends on data (e.g. Customer details, bookkeeping details, transaction records, etc.)

So, how bad are cyber-attacks? Mozy creates this infographic that shows you the worst data breaches and most costly viruses to date.

The True Cost of Cybersecurity - Mozy Infographic

If you still insist that those attacks won’t happen to your small business, let’s focus on cyber-attacks on smaller businesses.

Here’s an example. Marianna Kolokotroni, the owner of Oliveology, was surprised when she found out that her website has been hacked. It’s a costly hack: 20 to 30 percent of business comes from Oliveology website. Not that much, but think how bad the hacked website impacts on the brand (source)

Here’s another example: Rieva Lesonsky, the President and Founder of GrowBizMedia, mentioned that back in 2012, her website SmallBizDaily was hacked. Months of work was lost and the problems persisted. Fixes after fixes were made, but the problems seem won’t go away easily (source)

So, what businesses can do to prevent data breaches and viruses?

  1. Secure your codes: SQL injections steal your database without you even noticing it. Your website or software should use professional coding that pay attention to potential security compromises.
  2. Delete unnecessary software: Chances are, unnecessary software are old software that are not updated for quite some time. This presents as a loophole for viruses and malware.
  3. Restrict access: Your computers should set proper access restrictions, especially for an operating system, application, server and network access level.
  4. Auto-backup data: You should backup your data regularly, and secure it to the cloud – use services like Mozy to handle your data backup and protection automatically.

Good luck with your endeavor, and don’t let your business becomes yet another victim of cyber-attack.