Today’s technological innovations have empowered small businesses to do things that would have been utterly unimaginable even 15 years ago. To remain competitive in a constantly shifting landscape, we’ve become more dependent on software and hardware to house even the most basic structures of the companies we run.
Meanwhile, these technologies are evolving at breakneck speed. Every day, there’s a slew of new devices to consider, a pile of new updates to install and a new feature to wrap our heads around. Every morning, we wake up and the digital world is thrillingly new.
But all over the world, there’s an insidious network of criminals keeping up with this insanely rapid pace of progress. With every new security measure designed to protect our digital assets, there are thousands of hackers working around the clock to determine a new way to break through. An estimated 978,000 fresh new malware threats are released into the world each day. The term “up to date” doesn’t mean much anymore in the wake of new developments arriving minute by minute.
There’s a price to pay for the increased efficiency and reach enabled by the digital age. We’ve all heard the story before. A massive, multinational corporation neglects some aspect of their security and falls victim to a crippling large-scale cyberattack, with criminals lifting millions of dollars in customer data and digital assets. Equifax, J.P. Morgan, Home Depot, Yahoo!, Verizon, Uber and Target – these narratives are so commonplace that they barely raise an eyebrow when we read about them in the news.
Most business owners wrongly assume that these incidents have no bearing on their own companies, but these high-profile incidents account for less than half of data breaches. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 61% of attacks are directed at small businesses, with half of the 28 million small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in America coming under fire within the last year.
It’s hard to imagine how you can possibly protect yourself from these innumerable threats. Statistically, you can be all but certain that hackers will come for your data, and there’s no way to know what new tool they’ll be equipped with when they do. You may not be able to foresee the future, but you can certainly prepare for it. With research, education and resources, you can implement a robust security solution into the fabric of your business. That way, you can send hackers packing before they get their hooks into the organization you’ve spent years building from the ground up.
One huge leap you can make right now for the security of your business is to simply realize that cyber security isn’t something you can install and leave alone for years, months or even days. It requires regular updates and the attention of professionals to ensure there’s no gap in your protection. There are new shady tactics being used by criminals every day, but there are also fresh protocols you can use to stave them off.
Small business owners assume that since they don’t have the resources of a Fortune 500 company, they don’t have the means to invest in anything but the barest of security. Obviously, hackers know this and target SMBs in droves. The bad news is that most businesses’ paper-thin barriers won’t save them in the event of a crisis. The good news is that it doesn’t take thousands upon thousands of dollars to implement a security system that will send the hackers packing.