Cybersecurity and Small Business

Why should business owners be concerned about cybersecurity?

In the October segment of Small Business Edge’s “5 in Five” podcast, Josh Lawton, Managing Partner at Squared Compass, answered questions on cybersecurity and small business. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

Brian Moran: How concerned should business owners be about getting hacked today?

Josh Lawton: 43% of all cyberattacks are directed towards small and medium size businesses. Of the SMB companies that are hacked, 60% will go out of business within a year as a direct result of being hacked.

If you run a business today, think of cybersecurity as important as properly doing your books or properly filling out your tax forms. It's something that you may not want to do. It's not the fun part of the business, but it's something that you must do as a business fundamental.

Brian: Are there certain types of companies or industries that are more often targeted by hackers?

Josh: Definitely. In the healthcare industry, a healthcare record is substantially more valuable on the dark web than a credit card number. In other areas, let’s look at the long supply chain. Large corporations won’t be the initial point of an attack. Attackers will go downstream to smaller companies and then work their way up the supply chain.

Brian: What are the biggest cybersecurity mistakes that business owners make today?

Josh: Many small businesses will use the same administrative password, not necessarily randomized, across all different devices. Hack one device and you can hack all of them. Another mistake is in the security of emails and email systems. At the very least, companies should have two factor authentications to make it a little harder to get hacked. Remember, hackers are usually looking for crimes of convenience.

Brian: Do you recommend any websites, newsletters, people to follow on social media? If our listeners wanted to get more information on cybersecurity security tips?

Josh: There's a great organization called the Global Cyber Alliance, a global nonprofit that provides free tools for small business owners. They have a small business cybersecurity toolkit, in different languages which includes a step-by-step guide on how to start protecting your business.

Brian: Thanks Josh for sharing your time, expertise, and suggestions for business owners.

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