October 5, 2015

Your Small Business is at Risk of a Cyberattack

There have been a large number of high-profile security breaches with some of the biggest retailers, technology companies, health insurance companies, and entertainment companies in the U.S. recently. If hackers can break into these large corporations, they can easily get into your small business and wreak havoc. Why a small to medium business you might ask… As a matter of fact, you’re their favourite target. Contrary to big corporations, you might not have the resources to keep up with the biggest advances in technology.

Common Methods of Cyberattacks


Spyware is a form of malware used to spy on its victims. It is often used to record a computer user’s keystrokes in order to obtain logins and passwords.


A computer virus will make your system sick and will hide inside programs and files. They are often made to replicate themselves and survive by attaching to other files on the computer.


A worm is a type of malware that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. However, it doesn’t require other files or programs to survive. This makes it very dangerous.


Ransomware is a type of malware that holds a computer captive while demanding a ransom. It blocks access to the computer or blocks access to information on the hard drive. The creator of the ransomware will display a message on how you can regain access.

U.S. Cyberattack Statistics

Average annual cost of cyber attacks by major industry

  • Financial services: $20.8 million
  • Technology: $14.5 million
  • Communications: $12.7 million
  • Retail: $8.6 million

You need to invest in defense against cyberattacks

  • The average IT budget for US businesses is $4.1 million
  • 8 out of 10 small and medium-sized businesses in the US don’t use data protection for sensitive company and customer information
  • 4% of the overall IT budgets are spent on cybersecurity measures

The number of cyberattacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees is growing

  • 2011: 18%
  • 2012: 31%
  • 2013: 33%
  • 2014: 36%

Did you know?!

“60% of small businesses close within 6 months of a cyberattack”

Cyberattacks are a growing problem for businesses

  • 43 million cyberattacks occurred in 2014
  • An average number of 117,000 cyberattacks were committed each day in 2014
  • Cyber crime incidents cost on average $12.7 million for companies in 2014
  • The average cost of a single stolen record in 2014 was $145
  • 50% of companies with revenues under $10 million suffered a security breach in 2014

How cyberattacks affect businesses

  • Regulatory fines and lawsuits: 11%
  • Lost revenues: 14%
  • Lost customers: 18%
  • No impact: 20%
  • Attorney and consultant costs: 23%
  • Costs to prevent harm to customers: 23%
  • Cost of notification: 27%
  • Technology purchases: 28%
  • Lost time and productivity: 46%
  • Lost reputation and brand value: 52%

Industries that are more highly targeted by hackers

  • Financial services
  • Federal government
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Mining
  • Insurance

Some ways you can secure your website

Add digital certificates

Online certification authorities issue HTTPS certifications to companies in all industries. Your website needs to meet strict requirements in order to receive the digital certificate. By adding an online certification logo to your website, you’ll be letting people know that it’s a trusted place to do business.

Get data encryption

Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure setting (HTTPS) provides users with maximum security. It encrypts their personal and financial information and ensures the user that their information will be transported through the Internet safely.

Frequently backup your customer database and website

You should always have access to your data and web content in case anything happens. Your web hosting company should maintain a complete copy of your website on a server network, but you should find out if they also offer managed backup services.

Don’t underestimate the hackers

It’s a natural fault to think: “these things just don’t happen to me,” but you should get out of that mindset ASAP and prepare yourself for the worst. You can never be too prepared! Get informed and take the necessary precautions to ensure that you don’t get hit by a cyberattack.

Statistics: Balboa Capital

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