Over the last few years, many small business owners across the country have likely made note of the headlines involving major data breaches for big-name companies that exposed sensitive information for millions of people worldwide. And while they think this is something that can’t happen to them, the truth of the matter is that it’s actually smaller companies that are impacted most often.
Every year, hacking attacks affect the majority of small businesses, and actually end up costing the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually overall, according to a report from the Guardian. A lot of data indicates that almost all small businesses don’t have any sort of data protection, and fewer than half protect themselves from phishing scams via email. This despite the fact that a particularly big breach costs small businesses as little as $100,000 or as much as $175,000.
This comes despite the fact that most owners say that cybersecurity is a concern for their companies, the report said. However, many may not feel as though they have the funds to really mount a robust defense, or they simply don’t think they need to be especially worried about the threat.
What’s wrong with this line of thinking?
The reason many owners may not have major concerns about being affected by this kind of attack is that they don’t know just how pervasive the problem can be; a small business data breach that exposes the financial or personal data for a few hundred or so people or companies doesn’t make the headlines like a hacking attack against, say, Target that affects millions does. But they do happen a lot more often.
As one might imagine, companies like the Home Depot and Sony invest millions in cybersecurity, so when they get hacked it’s the result of a lot of hard work on the part of cybercriminals. But because small businesses often have little or no defense in place, they’re easy targets for hackers.
All of which raises the question of how companies can insulate themselves from this kind of risk. And beyond investing in anti-virus software and better training their employees, they might also be wise to seek out a type of small business insurance policy known as tech insurance, which will help to remediate some of the potentially massive costs that can come if they are impacted by such an attack.