We all hear about cyber-attacks, but what is cyber security? Cybersecurity encompasses the technologies and standard procedures designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or malicious access.
Cyber-attacks are an almost daily occurrence in the news these days. It seems many companies, schools and government entities are under constant attack. However, what often does not make the headlines is how much of a real threat cyber-attack is to the business owner. Almost half of all cyber-attacks affect SMB business, according to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, Jan. 2017. Of the small business that were targeted, 60% closed within six months due to the financial burden. The average total cost due to repairs and business interruption totaled over $1.8 million! Many of the business owners that we work with on a daily basis would not be in a position to overcome these types of losses and expenses.
Because of the news, business owners are aware of cyber threats, but do not think that the attacks will affect them. However, statistically speaking, 48% of the cyber threats were due to negligent or malicious intent by employees and contractors. How can you protect your business against these types of threats? Developing a cyber-security policy and stringently enforcing it, is one of the best ways to protect your business; some topics your policy should cover are employee usage, passwords and security updates.
Cyber threat is always evolving, and it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices for protecting your business. Your local UGA Small Business Development Center can help you navigate the security issues specific to your business.
The UGA SBDC offers no-cost, confidential consulting services and low cost educational resources to help you transform your business!
Laura Katz, MBA, is the Area Director of the UGA SBDC – Athens Center and enjoys working with business owners to help them start and grow their companies.
(Source: Laura Katz, Area Director, UGA SBDC in Athens)