October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Better Business Bureau is educating small businesses on the threats of cyber security and how they can best protect themselves.
BBB’s new State of Cybersecurity landing page reveals findings from recent research surveying 1,500 businesses through North America on their levels and understanding of cyber security.
From the results of the first part of an ongoing research series, BBB was able to find five common myths about cyber security:
- Smaller businesses are not at risk for cyber-attacks. In reality, one in four small businesses are affected by cyber-attacks each year. In fact, 60% of all cyber-attacks happen to small businesses, costing an average of $7,115 annually.
- Smaller business owners can’t protect themselves against cyber-attacks. Our research shows more than six out of 10 small businesses have a plan in place to help protect them in the event of a cyber-attack. While completely eliminating threats is not possible, small businesses can do multiple things to protect themselves like: having a security strategy in place, acquiring insurance and having IT in charge of data security.
- A lack of resources is the number one reason businesses don’t invest in cyber security efforts. Our findings reveals that a lack of expertise and understanding is the top reason businesses don’t invest in cyber security efforts. Additional education, direction and awareness efforts focused on small businesses are needed.
- If a small business is hit by a cyber-attack, their financial institution will cover their losses. It’s true that four out of ten business owners believe their bank would cover a substantial loss if credentials were stolen. However, the burden of proof lies with businesses, not banks, when it comes to cyber incidents. For businesses whose business banking accounts were hacked, the average loss was $32,021.
- If a substantial block of data was stolen from a small business, the business should call an attorney first. The first thing a small business will do is notify those affected (e.g., customers, employees, vendors) by the data breach. It is particularly important for small businesses to contact customers; research shows that eight out of ten consumers are likely to walk away from a purchase if a business fails to keep their data safe. Businesses should have a plan in place before a breach occurs, including contacting their bank, attorney and BBB.
BBB has partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance to help bring businesses educational tips and resources. Check out our website!
To learn about protecting you and your family’s personal information, visit Lock Down Your Login. BBB has partnered with The White House and other cyber security organizations to encourage better cyber security for consumers.
This post was written by your BBB Serving Central Ohio's Content & Communications Coordinator, Jordan Abbruzzese.