Cybercrime has grown by a staggering 600% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybercriminals prey on vulnerabilities that have been exposed as businesses around the world transitioned to remote work, e-commerce and virtual events. Still, many businesses believe that they are safe from cyberattacks, and consequently don’t do enough to defend themselves.
A data breach or other type of cybercrime can ruin your brand reputation, anger your customers and even put you in legal jeopardy. Sixty percent of small businesses fold within 6 months of a cyberattack. This is why protecting your business should be a top priority; it can literally make or break your company.
Keep reading to learn some of the most common cybersecurity myths that business owners falsely believe.
Myth 1: Hackers don’t target small businesses like mine
You may think that hackers only go after mega corporations and financial institutions, but that’s simply not true. According to Accenture, 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% of those businesses are prepared to defend themselves. More than half of all small businesses suffered a breach in 2019, and 4 out of 10 suffered from multiple attacks. Security breaches cost businesses of all sizes an average of $200,000 per incident.
One of the primary reasons for this is that smaller businesses often don’t have adequate cybersecurity measures in place – making them easy targets.
Myth 2: My business is safe because we don’t sell online
Even if your business isn’t collecting credit card information on your site, you are still likely collecting customer contact information that hackers covet. They can still steal your data and hold it ransom, launch malware attacks that can actually damage your hardware or use a phishing scheme to get access to your internal network and systems. Bottom line, no business is safe from cybercrime.
Myth 3: Everything is password protected, so we’re fine
Unfortunately, passwords don’t offer foolproof protection. Weak passwords can easily be figured out; hackers often use bots that can try millions of combinations until they crack the code. To prevent this, you and your employees all need to use strong passwords, change them frequently and use a different password for every device and account. You may want to invest in security software that sends notifications when it’s time for everyone to update their passwords, ensures that they choose a strong password and provides a warning if a password has been compromised.
Myth 4: We aren’t gullible enough to fall for a phishing scam
Phishing scams used to be easy to spot; they were often poorly written emails with typos and fake-looking logos. Today’s phishing scams are far more sophisticated, many looking nearly identical to a message from a trusted source. They also may now come through text messages or voicemail. According to Deloitte report, 90% of data breaches are caused by phishing, 76% of businesses report being a victim of a phishing attack and companies have lost $12 billion due to the popular scam.
Myth 5: We have cybersecurity policies in place that will protect us in the future
Understand that cybersecurity is not a “set it and forget it”, one-time thing. Your systems need to be constantly monitored for weaknesses, threats and attacks; your software needs to be updated regularly, and you and your employees need to stay on top of the newest trends in cybercrime so you know what to watch out for. Cybersecurity is vital to your business, so make sure it is an ongoing priority.