August 3, 2022 By Jennifer Gregory 2 min read

A recent survey showed that only half of small businesses are ready to handle a cyberattack, even though the threat of one is a top concern. Small businesses can take action ahead of time to reduce their risk and increase preparedness to both prevent and manage attacks.

Close to half think about cybersecurity threats daily

Provident Bank, a New Jersey-based financial institution, recently conducted a cyberattack prevention survey focused on small businesses. The report surveyed 600 businesses with revenues between $1 million and $40 million. Respondents identified as either owners or C-level executives and ranged in age from 18 to 55.

The most surprising finding: only 50.17% of companies felt they were fully prepared for an attack. However, 50.64% reported thinking about cybersecurity on a daily basis. On a positive note, 69.5% of businesses discuss cyberattacks in their business continuity plan.

The survey also found that over the past 12 months 56.67% of respondents faced at least one digital attack. Plus, 27% reported more than three incidents. As a result of those breaches, 41.67% faced increased IT costs, 34.8% saw a decrease in productivity and 25.8% reported being fined as a consequence.

The small businesses reported several methods of protecting their infrastructure and data. Secure Wi-Fi was the most common strategy, being used by 61% of respondents. Meanwhile, 54.8% relied on antivirus software and 49.67% backed up all their data.

Increasing cybersecurity preparedness

Small businesses can reduce their risk of cyberattacks in several ways. First, they should stay educated on current best practices and invest in the resources needed to reduce vulnerabilities. Taking the following steps now can also help increase preparedness:

  1. Stay up to date on current trends and tips. The Small Business Administration maintains an excellent website geared toward small businesses. By regularly reviewing current threats and best practices, small and medium businesses (SMBs) can make the best business decisions.
  2. Create a culture of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity training should be a must for employees. Small businesses should take training one step further and create a culture of cybersecurity. Provide the latest information and empower all employees to view cybersecurity as part of their jobs. This way, SMBs can reduce their risk of attack.
  3. Include cybersecurity in your business continuity plan. When organizations are the target of an attack, business disruptions often follow. By focusing the company’s business continuity plan on how to minimize these disruptions as much as possible, SMBs can reduce the damage to their reputation and revenue. Key points to outline include transferring business processes to unaffected equipment, determining alternate sites for business processes and the role of remote work after a cyberattack.

While many small businesses assume cyber criminals always go after larger companies with deeper pockets, this is proving to be false. By knowing the risks and taking proactive steps, small businesses can focus on their growth and serving their customers instead of worrying about cyberattacks.

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