Small Businesses At Increasing Risk of Cybercrime

This week, the US Office of Personnel Management admitted that over 5.6 million fingerprint records were stolen in a hack perpetrated earlier in the year; that's significantly larger than what they first imagined was 1.1 million compromised records.

If your head is reeling from the enormity of such a breech, and if you somehow figure that only large corporations or government systems are the target of serious hacks, think again. Recent reports show that small/micro businesses aren't doing enough to protect themselves, either.

Phishing attacks, credit card fraud, virus infections, data compromises; malware, espionage, password compromises, shareware exploits. Sage recently released a good infographic claiming that up to 90-percent of data breaches impact small firms, and that 30-percent of businesses under 250 employees are the intended targets of cyberattacks; 1 in 5 small businesses fall victim to cybercrime every year, and 60-percent of those affected businesses go out of business.

Half way through 2015 and cyber risks continue at an alarming rate. The criminals continue to become more sophisticated and have quick ‘go to market’ capabilities ...
— Carolyn Schrader, Cyber Security Group, Inc.

The bottom line is that thinking about information system security isn't just for the enterprise: it's something every mom and pop shop should be doing, too. We can't fool ourselves. Larger corporations may provide a more inciting, data-rich environment, but the reality is that small businesses don't secure their systems in the way corporations would, which makes them easier targets. They don't have the talent or expertise to understand the safeguards they're implementing, let alone verify their suitability and functionality.

And if we somehow believe that free software downloaded from the Internet will solve our problems, we should probably think again. Every small business owner or manager should be finding a trusted cybersecurity partner. Mickler & Associates, Inc. - a computer security consultancy in Vancouver, WA - is uniquely positioned to help small businesses improve their security posture and audit their safeguards. Learn more about how we could help you today.