As the number of cyber breaches increases, efforts to safeguard your business should increase, too.
A recent report on data breaches says that 58% of malware attack victims are categorized as small businesses. And the attacks are increasing: 61% of small businesses have experienced a cyber breach in the past 12 months – up from 55% in 2016.
With this kind of data, it’s no wonder that the MAIN STREET (Making Available Information Now to Strengthen Trust and Resilience and Enhance Enterprise Technology) Cybersecurity Act of 2017 has been proposed. Once law, it will require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide cybersecurity resources specifically geared for small businesses.
61% of small businesses have experienced a cyber breach in the past 12 months.
But rather than wait for Congress to enact legislation or – worse – for cyber criminals to target your business, take time now to refresh your digital protection and make investments in software where needed. Check your computers’ security system and networks and ensure each computer has up-to-date antivirus software installed. Make sure operating systems and browsers have automatic updates enabled and personal firewall protection is turned on.
Take It from Uncle Sam
Outside the walls of Congress, the U.S. government is also working to help businesses stem the rising tide of internet security threats. In its Privacy & Data Security Update: 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that it has distributed millions of copies of educational materials describing ongoing threats to security and privacy and, more importantly, how to address them. Business-specific education and guidance materials released in 2017 include:
Stick with Security: A Business Blog Series
Created to expand the FTC’s Start with Security business guidance, the blog offers additional insight into the 10 Start with Security principles based on the lessons of recent law enforcement actions, closed investigations, and experiences of companies. Visit:
Protecting Small Businesses
This newly launched site includes educational materials to help businesses stay ahead of the latest scams, reduce the risks from cyber threats, keep customer data safe and respond in case of a data breach. Visit:
Five videos cover data protection topics like how the NIST Cybersecurity Framework aligns with the FTC’s work on data security, how to respond if your business is impersonated in a phishing scam, how businesses can defend against ransomware, using email authentication to prevent phishing emails from getting through to your customers, and steps companies should take to respond to a data breach. Visit:
Next Steps to Secure Your Business
- Review the current virus protection on your company’s computers to ensure it’s up to date.
- Use the provided links to visit the FTC’s website for helpful information.
- Talk with your employees about your plan for data security and their role in keeping data safe.
Although the thought of warding off cybercrime can seem daunting, promoting safe internet usage and taking measures to protect your company’s information now can protect you from costly and timely security breaches down the road.
Sources: The Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report and the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses report
Who Is the FTC? The FTC is an independent U.S. law enforcement agency charged with protecting consumers and enhancing competition across broad sectors of the economy. This includes a wide array of practices affecting consumers, including those that emerge with the development of new technologies and business models – such as cybersecurity guidance for business.
That’s why, along with information about protecting your business from cyber threats, the FTC’s Privacy & Data Security Update: 2017 report also contains other valuable information important to your business and your customers. For a complete PDF copy of the report, visit ftc.gov and search Privacy & Data Security Update.