Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) Facing Major Risks
Cyber criminals do not discriminate. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, even home users, are not immune to today’s cyber threats. Prior to ransomware, remediation was possible. Users would get infected with malware and the user would run their antivirus to remove it and resolve the negative impacts the infection left on the computer. Now, ransomware has made that impossible. Ransomware is a malicious form of software that encrypts, or locks, user’s files and demands a payment in order to unlock them. An antivirus could remove the malicious software, but it still doesn’t decrypt the files. Therefore, remediation is no longer sufficient.
Too often users don’t believe these threats will target them. They believe cyber criminals will go after the big fish, because that is where the money is. Truth is — that couldn’t be further from the truth. Often times, cyber criminals target SMBs because it is believed they have less effective cyber security. And once that infection hits, it comes with a significant price.
According to the Poneman Institute, the average cost of cleaning up a SMB after it has been hacked stands at $690,000. Due to this astronomical price tag, it is not surprising that over half of all SMBs hacked, go under within six months.
This would logically make SMBs increase their security measures, right? Wrong. Last year’s Manta poll showed 87% of small-business owners nationwide do not feel they are at risk of a cyber attack. Wait, what?! Yes, they still believe the small fish are irrelevant to cyber criminals. Do not make this same mistake. The “it will never happen to me” philosophy is not applicable when it comes to cyber security threats.
Instead of Reacting, Prevent
Remediation is not an adequate solution, due to today’s growing cyber threats. However, interestingly enough, many large analyst firms state that is what businesses are focused on — getting prepared to deal with the cyber attack. They’re focusing not on preventing them, but what to do after they hit. To be clear, having a disaster recovery plan is a good idea. However, if a situation is avoidable, doesn’t it make sense to prevent it from occurring to begin with?
In order to successfully prevent cyber attacks, users need to use patch management software to ensure third-party applications are updated timely, and implement a security solution that utilizes application whitelisting as its primary method of malware detection.