As a small business, SMZ relies on our Information Technology Manager, Steven Klein, to keep our company and employees’ information secure.
But it’s more than that. We need to keep our clients’ information and assets secure, too. Not just during October, but every month, day and minute. And it takes the vigilance of all of us.
Steven recently attended the 3rd Annual National Cybersecurity Summit virtual seminar: Cyber Summit 2020: Leading the Digital Transformation — Cyber Toolkit for Small Businesses, hosted by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Here are some of findings and recommendations for small businesses.
Even during our current economic challenges, small businesses must continue to invest in cybersecurity.
About 25% of small businesses suffer an information breach every year. About one quarter of those end up filing for bankruptcy. The 24/7 nature of small (and many other) businesses these days means they’re now susceptible to the same attacks targeting large enterprises.
Pre-COVID cybersecurity wasn’t a focus of many small businesses.
Media portrays large entities being attacked and that’s what makes the news. By the time so much of our workforce went remote, hackers were already equipped for new attacks against small businesses. The challenges this sudden increase in remote secure access created were immediately exploited by hackers.
Now small businesses have the challenge of dealing with these new cybersecurity issues.
At the end of the day, human beings are the foundation of every business and employees are every small business’s partners in cybersecurity. That makes it imperative to educate your workforce and empower every employee to feel accountable and responsible for cybersecurity.
What’s going to happen post-COVID?
No one’s sure. Maybe not everyone will be back in the physical workspace. There could be a new normal, but security challenges will persist. And most likely a new round of security challenges will need to be addressed.
When it comes to cybersecurity, companies should hope for the best, but plan for the worst. But it’s not just the IT Department’s responsibility. It starts with senior company leadership and creating a culture of security. It needs to be talked about EVERY DAY. It needs to be practiced EVERY DAY. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be aware and keep both the company’s — and in SMZ’s case, our clients — information secure.
Want to learn more? Here are some tools available to help small businesses.
CISA Cyber Essentials: https://www.cisa.gov/cyber-essentials
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA): https://staysafeonline.org/
Cyber Readiness Institute: https://www.cyberreadinessinstitute.org
Global Cyber Alliance Cybersecurity Toolkit: https://gcatoolkit.org/smallbusiness