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Why Does Cybersecurity Matter to Startups and Small Businesses?

Why Does Cybersecurity Matter to Startups and Small Businesses?

In this age of digitalization, no company, industry, or country is safe from cyberattacks. Every organization has vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. And knowing that startups and small businesses revolve around evolution, which needs constant change to adapt to the ever-changing technological world, you have to consider that this agility also creates possibilities for new risks. By that, we mean cybersecurity threats.

Unfortunately, startups and small businesses often believe they don’t need a cybersecurity program because they are too tiny for scams and attacks. What they don’t know about that mindset is it only exposes them to a broader scope of threats.

In this article, we’ll explore more about the significance of cybersecurity and provide some security tips for startups and small businesses. So, if you own a small firm or are just starting your company, read on and learn about why cybersecurity matters to your business.

Cybersecurity Threats

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The Importance of Cybersecurity

By definition, cybersecurity secures your data, which includes everything from sensitive intellectual property to the personal information of your clients and workers. Without it, you’re making your business vulnerable to threat actors who could endanger your company’s confidential information and reputation. However, if this isn’t enough reason for you to invest in cybersecurity programs, here are a few more:

1. Startups and small businesses are usually seen as easy targets.

Startups and small businesses make an easy target for threat actors because of numerous reasons:
• Shortage of budget for a thorough and updated security defense system
• Limited security awareness among employees
• Lack of risk management policy and procedure and lack of risk awareness, in general
• Failure to secure endpoints
Since startups and small companies tend to keep their focus on marketing and growing the business, they often overlook the importance of security. And that just gives hackers more advantage to quickly getting access to the company’s data. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2019 data breach investigation report, 43% of all data breaches targeted small businesses.

2. You hold invaluable information.

You have to understand that even the smallest businesses or the newest startups still hold sensitive information like your employees’ and customers’ personal or financial details. And that information is what the hackers are interested in. With that in mind, having a security defense system is vital to protect confidential information.

3. Non-compliance can be expensive.

For doing business in new markets, there are usually independent compliance requirements that you need to follow. Failure to do so, in this case, data breach, only gets you to spend more than the amount you’ll pay for solid cybersecurity measures. If you think about it, investing in cybersecurity is way better than paying for data breach costs (non-compliance), operational costs, and reputational costs. That being said, always make sure to allot a budget to security and comply with data security regulations.

4. An established cybersecurity program gives you a competitive edge.

If you adhere to safe security practices, chances are you attract clients and business partners to work with you. Knowing that you have a robust security system as a startup business, they will be confident to put their money and trust in you.

And aside from business partners, you also help retain your employees to take every step with you in growing the brand. It’s already difficult to hire people, so don’t make it even more challenging to retain them because of security risks.

5. A cyber-attack can put an end to your business.

If you have a startup company, be aware that even the slightest glitch could cause your corporate growth an end. You must, therefore, weigh the risks to thrive and expand.

A breach during the early stages of your organization could seriously put all your hard work to an end. It is typical for hackers to take down vital network infrastructure and websites after a data breach using DDoS assaults and other techniques. Fixing that requires a lot of money to risk with no assurance of regaining access and control of your data and IT systems.

As a small business, there’s a huge possibility that you won’t only lose a lot of money and reputation in this situation but will also find it hard to recover. In the worst-case scenario, the business will only resort to having a total shutdown.

Privacy & Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

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How To Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks

Now that we have learned about the significance of cybersecurity in startups and small businesses let’s discuss how to mitigate the risks. Even though developing and maintaining a cybersecurity program may seem challenging and frightening, there are fundamental steps you can follow to get started. Here are some:

• Establishing a comprehensive cybersecurity framework based on zero-trust principles
• Investing money in training employees about security management
• Updating software and operating systems when new patches are released
• Ensuring that firewalls and antivirus programs are up to date and providing adequate protection for all devices
• Using identity management to monitor and limit access to sensitive data
Using a strong password and updating it regularly
• Implementing access management tools, such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
• Data encryption and regular data backup

The Bottom Line

In this digital age, inadequate security measures affect everything for every business, small or startup. With that in mind, we can say cybersecurity matters—as it is no longer an option to take but a necessity. So, to protect customer data and intellectual property and grow as a business, start investing in strong cybersecurity programs.

This article was written by Katie Pierce


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52 Hacking and Cybersecurity Statistics You Need to Know

52 Hacking and Cybersecurity Statistics You Need to Know

Cybersecurity issues are a looming threat to businesses. Recent trends suggest that malicious attacks are on the rise, with more breached data threats since COVID-19 than we’ve previously seen before.

Whilst it may seem obvious to put precautions in place to reduce the risk of cybersecurity attacks, surprisingly most companies have unprotected data within their workplace. On top of this, small businesses and individuals who have built their own websites often have little to no idea of the types of security measures that should be put in place to protect their website and their customer’s data.

In order to successfully fight against cybersecurity attacks, businesses must be aware of the latest trends in order to inject cybersecurity best practices into their everyday lives, protecting them, their staff, and their customers.

1. Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

  • Coronavirus has been blamed for the 238% rise in cybersecurity attacks on banks in 2020 (ZDNet)
  • 80% of businesses have seen an increase in cyberattacks following Coronavirus (RiskIQ)
  • 27% of all cybersecurity attacks are targeting banks or healthcare industries
  • The average ransomware payment has risen by 33% compared to Q4 2019
  • U.K. businesses saw a rise in attacks by 30% in Q1 2020 (Info Security)
  • In March 2020, ransomware attacks increased by 148% (E&T)
  • Cloud-based attacks have risen 600% since the end of February (RiskIQ)
  • 5% of Coronavirus-related domains have been deemed suspicious (RiskIQ)
  • Hacker website visits rose 66% in March 2020 (RiskIQ)

2. General Cybersecurity Statistics

  • Human error accounts for 22% of cybersecurity attacks (Duo)
  • 41% of customers said they wouldn’t buy from a business that was the victim of a ransomware attack (Metro)
  • 94% of cyberattacks start with an email (CSO Online)
  • 11% of online users have been a victim of data theft (Security Today)
  • 72% of data breaches target large businesses (FM Magazine)
  • 25% of cyberattacks involve phishing
  • Organized crime gangs account for 55% of attacks
  • 43% of data breaches are cloud-based web applications (Global News Wire)

3. Phishing and Email Attack Statistics

  • 94% of malware in 2019 was delivered by email (Verizon)
  • In 2018, phishing levels dropped from 1 in 2,995 emails in 2017 to 1 in 3,207 emails (Symantec)
  • 48% of malicious email attachments are Microsoft Office files (Symantec)
  • 56% of IT decision-makers say phishing attacks are their biggest security threat (CSO Online)
  • 62% of businesses in 2018 experienced phishing attacks (Cybint Solutions)
  • 32-33% of breaches included phishing (Verizon)

4. Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

  • 43% of breach victims were small businesses (Verizon)
  • 15% of breaches involved Healthcare organizations (Verizon)
  • The financial services industry incurs the highest cost from cybercrime with an average of $18.3 million per company (Accenture)

5. Privacy Statistics

  • 21% of online users have been a victim of account hacking (Security Today)
  • 61% of individuals who are active about their privacy are age 44 and under (CISCO)
  • 79% of people say they are very or somewhat concerned about how companies use their private data (Pew Research Center)
  • 12% of online users are a victim of stalking (Security Today)
  • 81% of people say they feel like they don’t have any control of the data companies collect (Pew Research Center)
  • 41% of children aged 8-17 have open public profiles (Security Today)
  • 6% of online users have reported being a victim of online scams (Security Today)
  • 72% of Americans feel that most of what they do online is being tracked (American Trends Panel)

6. Data Protection Statistics

  • Less than 40% of countries have put in place legislation to secure the protection of data and privacy (UN)
  • 59% of people say their organizations meet all GDPR requirements (CISCO)
  • 47% of organizations have updated their website cookie policies (Techbeacon)
  • 58% of European countries declared GDPR compliance as a top priority in comparison to the U.S. where just 11% selected it as number one (IAPP)
  • 35% of U.S. businesses said they wouldn’t be CCPA compliant by January 1, 2020 (eMarketer)
  • The biggest GDPR fine issued was to Google Inc. in France which was €50,000,000 (Privacy Affairs)

7. Cybersecurity Spending Statistics

  • Security services are expected to account for 50% of cybersecurity budgets in 2020 (Gartner)
  • The average cost of a data breach is $3.9 million (IBM)
  • The average cost in time of a malware attack is 50 days (Accenture)
  • By 2021 it’s estimated that damage relating to cybercrime will hit $6 trillion annually (Cybersecurity Ventures)
  • 50% of businesses with 10,000 or more employees are spending at least $1 million annually on security (CISCO)

8. Malware Statistics

  • 64% of organizations in 2018 experienced malware activity that spread from one employee to another, rising to 71% in 2019 (Mimecast)
  • 63% of organizations in the UAE have suffered from a ransomware attack (Mimecast)
  • 62% of cybersecurity professionals believe their organization’s cybersecurity team is understaffed (ISACA)
  • Since 2007, the number of malware websites has declined, however, phishing websites are on the rise (Google)
  • PayPal is one of the most commonly mimicked websites (Comparitech)
  • In China, 3% of scanned websites host malware (Google)
  • Malware variants are decreasing year-on-year (Sonic Wall)
  • Around 4,800 websites were compromised due to form jacking code each month in 2018 (Symantec)

9. WordPress Security Plugins

Whilst these statistics are quite haunting, there are steps you can take to protect your website from potential security threats.

If you’re unsure whether you need a WordPress security question, it’s worth remembering that the average website gets attacked 44 times every day. Although not all of these attacks will be successful, if one slips through the net, your business could be in serious jeopardy.

Here are some of my favorite WordPress security plugins to protect your website, your business, and your customers:

10. Wordfence

cybersecurity

Wordfence comes equipped with an endpoint firewall and malware scanner to protect WordPress websites. Endpoint firewalls provide better protection in comparison to cloud solutions, leveraging user identity in over 85% of firewall rules. In the last 30 days alone, Wordfence has blocked almost 4 billion attacks and 180,000+ malicious IPs have been blacklisted.

11. ManageWP

cybersecurity

ManageWP helps to automate your workflow by adding websites, passwords, etc. from one easy-to-use dashboard. You can add unlimited websites and 1-click update plugins, themes, and WP core updates. ManageWP will notify you if any of your plugins are vulnerable so you can update or deactivate them where appropriate.

12. Defender Pro

cybersecurity

Defender Pro performs regular security scans and vulnerability reports. It protects your website from hackers, brute force attacks, and malicious bots. You can try Defender Pro for free for 7 days and take your first steps to defend your WordPress website against cybersecurity attacks.

13. iThemes Security

iThemes Security offers over 30 ways in which you can protect your WordPress website from hacks and malicious attacks. iThemes has almost 1 million active installations, helping you to fix common problems and automated attacks through WordPress.

14. Jetpack

Jetpack is a must-have WordPress security plugin. It protects your website against brute force attacks, spam, and takes backups of your entire site. As well as offering protection against attacks, Jetpack comes loaded with performance-boosting tools to help your site run at the speed of light.

15. Change wp-admin login

The default login URL is /wp-admin which can easily be intercepted by hackers. Change wp-admin login changes the URL used to login to your WordPress website without altering or renaming files in the core directories.


The original article by David Morelo was published at webhostingprof.com


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

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