Over the past several years, small business owners across the country have likely seen many headlines about major data breaches that ended up having huge negative impacts on some of the biggest companies in the world. And while many such entrepreneurs have likely shrugged these attacks off as something that simply “can’t happen” to them, experts say that they’re actually far more vulnerable than those larger entities.
The fact that small businesses aren’t well-known beyond their local areas doesn’t really matter very much to hackers who are trying to gain access to their systems, according to a report from Reno, Nevada, television station KRNV. As a result of this fact, and the issue that many owners think they won’t be affected by this kind of event, many government agencies and small business advocacy groups are now pushing for greater recognition of both what the problem is and what can be done to improve their readiness.
“Small businesses are particularly challenged because much of their business relies on technology, however, their expertise securing that technology is not as mature as it should be,” Nevada State Chief Information Security Officer Christopher Ipsen told the station.
Why is this an issue?
When major, news-making hacks happen, it’s usually the result of months of hard work for hackers, the report said. These rip off major corporations and their hundreds of thousands of their customers for potentially millions of dollars. But while small business breaches don’t grab headlines, they certainly happen quite often. Many polls show that the majority of such companies have been impacted by such an incident in the past, and the likelihood that they could be affected again, potentially over and over, is high.
That’s because small businesses simply don’t have the resources to devote themselves to more robust security and as such end up dealing with more headaches, the report said. However, this can go beyond simply having the latest anti-virus and firewall software, and should also include significant employee training related to spotting potential phishing emails and other scams that could end up compromising passwords for an entire network.
Companies that want to make sure they’re protected from these rather costly threats should also try to ensure they have the kind of small business insurance coverage that will help them do so. Tech insurance, as it is known, can be used to significantly mitigate the costs associated with recovering from a data breach.