WASHINGTON, April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly one-fifth of small businesses (15%) say they experienced either a hack (7%), virus (5%), or data breach (3%) in 2019, according to new data from The Manifest, a B2B news and how-to site.
The Manifest surveyed 383 small business owners and managers to better understand the challenges they had with cybersecurity in 2019 and how they plan to approach cybersecurity in the future.
Small business cyberattacks might not garner the same news headlines as those impacting larger companies, but they happen.
"It begins with small businesses believing — erroneously — that it cannot happen to them. Although a hacker might not single out a small business, businesses can certainly become victims of hacks and other cyber-criminality," said Charles Lee Mudd Jr., founder and principal of Mudd Law Firm, a firm specializing in internet, startup, intellectual property, privacy, defamation, space, and entertainment law.
A cyberattack on a small business can have dire consequences, losing it time, money, and customer loyalty.
Majority of Small Businesses Want to Increase Cybersecurity Resources
The Manifest found that, at the time of data collection in December 2019, most small businesses (64%) said they were planning to devote more resources to cybersecurity in 2020.
The sudden economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may mean small businesses can't follow through with cybersecurity improvement plans, though, just as cybersecurity becomes more important than ever due to many businesses moving online and employees working remotely.
Small businesses can potentially seek out cost-effective solutions to cybersecurity, however, including simply limiting employee access to certain data and requiring strong passwords.
Limiting Access, Encryption Are Most Popular Small Business Cybersecurity Strategies
The most popular strategies small businesses pursue for cybersecurity are limiting employee access to data (46%) and encrypting data (44%), followed by requiring strong passwords (34%) and training employees on data safety (34%).
Limiting employee access reduces the touchpoints through which data can accidentally or intentionally be exposed. Meanwhile, encryption provides a safety net even if employees who have access find their devices stolen or exposed.
One of the best long-term solutions for cybersecurity, though, is regularly keeping employees trained on cybersecurity best practices.
"The top cybersecurity threat to small businesses is an insider threat because employees let cybercriminals in," said Cyrus Walker, principal at Data Defenders, a cybersecurity services provider.
The Manifest surveyed 383 small business owners and managers at businesses that use a mobile app and/or website to connect with customers.
For questions about the survey, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the industry experts included in the report, contact Kristen Herhold at [email protected].
About The Manifest
The Manifest is a business news and how-to website that compiles and analyzes practical business wisdom for innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and mid-market businesses. Use The Manifest as an approachable tour guide through every stage of the buyer journey. With three main offerings – data-driven benchmarks, step-by-step guides, and agency shortlists – The Manifest strives to make your business goals a reality.
SOURCE The Manifest