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5 Cyber Security Facts Small Business Owners Need to Know

By Garrett Spence   |    May 25, 2016   |    10:44 AM

Do You Know How Important Cyber Security is For Your Small Business?

If you’re running a small business there’s no doubt that you have some vital and sensitive information about your company and its customer’s stored online. This means that knowing some cyber security facts and protocols can come in extremely handy when it comes to keeping your business and it’s information safe.

Here’s what every small business owner needs to know about cyber security. While you’re reading, continuously ask yourself, “Does my business have the proper security to protect this information?”

1. You’re required to notify customers of a security breach

Due to increasing threats of information hacks many states have passed notification laws that require businesses to notify all people whose data might have been compromised in a security breach. On average, the cost of delivering these notifications and other associated costs totals more than $130 per person.

So, if you have 1,000 customers whose data could have been breached, your minimum expenditure would be around $130,000 per security incident. That’s no small chunk of change, and you can avoid it by implementing proper security protocols like securing WiFi networks and managing which employees have access to data.

2. 79% of small business do not have a cyber attack response plan

Is your business a part of the above statistic? If it is, you need to get to work creating a response plan for when an attack happens. Yes, when — 63% of small businesses have been victims of a cyber attack, so the odds aren’t in your favor.

3. If a small business endures a cyber attack, studies show there’s a good chance the business will be ruined

Large companies, like Target, are able to bounce back from cyber attacks because they have plenty of resources at their disposal. Small businesses don’t have the same luxuries.

In fact, a survey by Experian found that 60% of small businesses that suffered a cyber attack shut down after six months. You don’t want to be part of that statistic, which is why security measures like regularly changing passwords, securing your payment systems, and conducting frequent security audits are so important. You might even consider hiring a cyber security firm to find weaknesses in your systems and procedures.

4. If your bank account is hacked the FDIC won’t cover your losses

Some small business owners assume that if their personal bank accounts are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so are their business accounts.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true.

The FDIC only protects personal accounts, and it’s also unlikely that your general liability insurance will protect you from financial damages.

5. Hackers actively target small businesses

When you hear about cyber security breaches in the news, the stories are primarily focused on big brands with well known names. However, according to We Live Security, small businesses are actually a prized target.

That’s because small businesses have a lot to lose, and relatively few measures in place to protect themselves from losses. Hackers can steal customer information and sell it on the black market, for example.

If reading this article has you wondering how to improve your small business’s cyber security, be sure to review the Small Business Association’s materials on cyber security. You’ll learn more about possible vulnerabilities you never considered and will come away with relevant, actionable information to keep your small business safe.

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