According to a survey performed by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), 94% of small business owners are worried about cyber security. And the fact is, they should be. The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report released this April identifies the largest area of growth for cyber attacks in 2012 was for businesses with fewer than 250 employees. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 cyber attacks occurred in this business segment, a reflection of the common practice in which cyber attackers use small businesses for practice before moving on to more sophisticated attacks targeted at larger organizations.
In response to the rate of cyber attacks, the survey respondents stated that upgrade costs, security issues, and the time investment required to fix problems were their top three information technology concerns. This can all add up in terms of hard dollars, which is particularly alarming given that the NSBA also states that the average cost for small-business victims was $8,699 per attack.
While the government was previously the top economic sector targeted for cyber attacks, the focus has shifted. According to this survey, the most targeted economic sector for cyber attacks in 2012 was manufacturing. This may seem like a surprising shift, but the manufacturing sector has become an attractive target for cyber attackers due to the large amount of data that they produce. This data includes corporate intellectual property, technology, and designs, which can result in significant financial losses if stolen.
While the numbers are alarming, help is available for small businesses. Don’t wait until your security is breached; take the first step today because, as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. So if you’re concerned about the risk of cyber attacks and the impact on your business, reach out to us at Great Lakes Computer for a complimentary network security consultation.