Cybercriminals are not as discriminating in their targets as you might expect. They have attempted to attack businesses of all types and sizes. Sure, they may focus on the most lucrative. But they are also fully aware that smaller targets can also be easier targets. And once attacked, the financial costs that arise – including the initial damage, the costs to fix it, potential regulatory fines and legal bills – can be daunting to any business, but especially to small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) whose pockets are not as deep as a large corporation’s.

Many SMBs are unprepared to defend themselves against the increasing threat of cyber-attacks, even if they think that they are. Cybersecurity is a constantly changing and evolving field. The security measures that were at the forefront 5 years ago are now considered to be the bare minimum. The financial burden of any cyber-attack does end once the attack has been extinguished.

An October, 2018, survey by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of expert business mentors, found that the average amount demanded during a ransomware attack is $1,077 – but the average cost of remediating an attack is $133,000. This colossal sum can include downtime costs, recovery costs and lost business opportunities.

(It’s also worth noting that paying the ransom is usually a fool’s errand, as less than 20% of victims who do give in to the extortion demand actually get their data unlocked.)

SMBs Need to Step It Up
Multiple surveys are reports issues over the last few years have clearly shown that micro/small businesses are less apt than medium or large businesses to combat cyber-threats. Typically, 79% of medium and large businesses have actively looked for cybersecurity information, advice or guidance. However, only 58% of SMBs have done the same. The differences also extend to cybersecurity policies, where 62% of larger businesses have developed a policy while only 26% of SMBs have. When it comes to cybersecurity training, the difference is 47% vs 19%. Simply put, SMBs leave themselves more vulnerable to cybercrime.

In the digital era, any size business can be brought to a standstill with just a few clicks.

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