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CYBERSECURITY 101

By HUNTER STREET Email By HUNTER STREET
October 2015
CYBERSECURITY 101

Several recent reports, including Price Waterhouse’s 2015 US State of Cybercrime Survey and Verizon Communications 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, show that cyberattacks on small and midsize enterprises (SME’s for short) are steadily increasing. 


Because larger companies have more money to lose, and more to spend, they are increasing security spending and, therefore, are now harder targets to hit. As such, SME’s are becoming increasingly more attractive targets. Although SME’s may seem less appetizing, it’s not about size; it’s about volume. The most common incidents of cybercrime—those from malware, phishing, network interruption, spyware, and denial-of-service attacks—are now automated, and hackers can attack thousands, if not millions, of companies with the click of a button from their basement. Also, because SME’s may lack the time, money, knowledge, and resources of larger companies, their online security is weaker and, therefore, easier to breach.


SME’s need to implement effective cybersecurity policies just as much as larger companies do. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines cybersecurity as “the comprehensive effort to protect computers, programs, networks, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access through technologies, processes, and best practices.” Sounds expensive? But it may be more expensive to forego cybersecurity policies. A successful cyberattack on your company may cost more than money; it may cost your company its business reputation and consumer confidence.


You don’t need a $1 million dollar budget and an entire cybersecurity department. A few simple steps will help you better protect your company from threats. 


Finally, remember that technology is always evolving and you should likewise stay updated on current trends in cybersecurity. Both the SBA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offer great resources on cybersecurity for small and midsize companies. Check-out the FCC’s Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0, an online resource to help small business create and customize cybersecurity plans, and its Cybersecurity Tip Sheet, a quick, one-page resource for creating a mobile device action plan and for payment and credit card security. The SBA even has a 30-minute online course titled “Cybersecurity for Small Business.”

Check it out at https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/cybersecurity-small-businesses.


Like it or not, having cybersecurity policies to secure data is essential for the success of your business in the 21st century. A few preventive steps now could save you from painful recovery efforts later on.


Business Insights is hosted by the Law Firm of Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee, LLC (KPPB).

 

Hunter Street is of counsel to KPPB Law and is a business, real estate, and corporate lawyer.

 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only,and does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice.


 


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