Five Questions Essential to Your Cybersecurity

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With nearly half of all small businesses targeted by hackers, this increasingly threatened community often stays mum on the attacks and the damage.

Effort to keep a cybersecurity nightmare out of the public eye is understandable. But without peer communication and resources, many owners don’t see the long-term consequences of breaches. This cloak of secrecy is causing real damage, since many businesses with under 1,000 employees go under months after a significant attack.

The too-small-to-be-hacked days are over. In reality, 43% of hackers recognize small businesses as easy marks, and infiltrate them with greater ease than big businesses.

The Security Preparedness Checklist

As MSPs struggle to communicate safety concerns with their small business clients, inSOC has developed a five-question checklist to foster communication and help prevent these attacks. The five questions, when discussed with small businesses, help review the foundational elements of cybersecurity. inSOC recognized the need after seeing a rapid increase in small-business hacks.

Why Small Businesses?

Larger companies often must disclose breaches because they are under increased government scrutiny and regulation. Not always true for small businesses. While larger companies have the financial reserves to weather a breach, about 60% of hacked small businesses close within six months of a successful attack.

Jeremy Grant, an adviser at the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, recently told Inc. magazine that he first recognized a 300 percent spike in cyberattacks in 2012. That number has risen significantly in the last two years. With the recent shift online, small business has made unprecedented progress in their virtual environments without the ability to protect their new public spaces.

Even worse, many of the hackers quietly steal customer data and sell it on the dark web, so companies are unaware until the damage has long been done.

According to Jeff Gulick, CIO of inSOC, small businesses must start discussing the options and best practices needed to prevent attacks.

“Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise and their small businesses are more susceptible than ever. We see this all the time. They are not prepared.  So 49 percent of successfully distributed malware is attacking small businesses and only 14 percent of those businesses are prepared to respond to that threat.”

The inSOC Security Preparedness Checklist offers five simple questions that reveal the extent of backup, communications, and best practices. If companies cannot confirm all five answers, further steps, such as a wider security assessment, are recommended.

Gulick says MSPs can lead the discussion by running through the 5-point checklist and communicating further security needs.

Hackers Getting Trickier

Most people wait until obvious theft is found but there is much that can be done to prevent theft in the first place.

“A lot of people think they have to spend a lot of money, but being proactive… monitoring your network environments to identify security threats before data is breached… training people on security… making them aware… this investment pales in comparison to the costs of reacting to a breach.”

“Start the conversation with your customer or prospect with these 5 simple questions to understand the gaps. Get them to take a look at themselves in the mirror.”

Gulick added that the damage can linger for years. Data restoration and the cost of idled workers can be deeply expensive, resulting in cost-cutting measures over several budget cycles. These attacks can also disrupt company supply chains.

Some of the biggest costs, though, come with the damage done to their customers and corporate clients. When attackers use small businesses to gain entry into their larger company clients, all trust is broken.

“We’re recommending some basic steps, starting with this quick and easy security checklist, as a way to start the security discussion with your clients and show them how you can work with them to ensure they preserve the integrity and trust of their business.”

To get started, you can access the Security Preparedness Checklist here.

If you’d like to learn more about how inSOC can help you to secure your customers from cyberattack, you can contact us here.

Hannah Lloyd
VP Channel Sales