Small business owners combat surge in cybersecurity threats

Small business owners are facing a surge in cybersecurity threats but remain vigilant and proactive in regard to their digital safety

Small business owners are facing a surge in cybersecurity threats but remain vigilant and proactive in regard to their digital safety.

Cybersecurity remains one of the top concerns for entrepreneurs as the number of small businesses impacted by a digital attack hits 44%.

That data comes from online security platform McAfee in collaboration with Dell Technologies, who conducted a survey of 700 company owners, managers, and leading I.T. professionals across six countries, including the U.S. The results indicate that 44% of small businesses have experienced at least one digital attack, with 17% suffering two or more. A majority of victims (67%) said the incidents occurred within the last two years, suggesting that small businesses are facing a surge in cybersecurity threats.

Encountering a digital attack can have many negative consequences for a company. These impacts can be especially catastrophic for startups that lack the budget and resources to resolve incidents quickly. Small businesses that lost more than $10,000 from a cybersecurity incident accounted for 61% of all victims in McAfee’s study. Another 58% claimed their organizations lost over a week of productivity in dealing with the event. Such losses may be negligible for a big organization with a massive budget and a dedicated I.T. department but are devastating for entrepreneurs, many of whom struggle to make ends meet and lack experience in handling data breaches.

However, while entrepreneurs may be more susceptible to digital attacks and their consequences than others, many are aware of the risks they face and take appropriate steps to protect their companies and data. Nearly half (45%) of small business owners surveyed by McAfee reported dedicating a minimum of seven hours per week to I.T.-related matters. Most companies have also equipped their teams with modern cybersecurity measures, with only 30% of victims attributing their security breaches to outdated technology or software.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that small business owners be proactive in their cybersecurity strategies and take immediate action when incidents occur. Keeping customers informed during a breach is also essential and can help repair trust and goodwill in the days following a digital attack.

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