Recently, the White House has made several announcements about the future of cybersecurity. But how are these affecting small businesses and the private sector?
What is an SMB?
The terminology might seem strange but an SMB is the shortened term for medium and small-sized businesses. For context, a medium-sized business is a company that has up to 250 employees. There are around 30.2 million small and medium-sized businesses in the US, so these businesses make up a significant amount of the US economy.
Why is the White House Involved?
Recently, a series of cyberattacks stopped several businesses from trading which impacted the local economy in a significant way. These businesses were not small and the impact that their pause in operations was felt by many.
After reviewing the situation, the White House issued an open letter to private businesses, asking them to take control of their cybersecurity. Over the last few years, there have been rumours of attacks from overseas and horror stories of people having their data being held for ransom. Unfortunately, these attacks are happening and they are becoming more common.
How Can You Protect Your Small or Medium-Sized Business?
When you are balancing your budget, adding a cybersecurity budget might be the furthest thing from your mind. But as these attacks are proving to be efficient, you will need to add a cybersecurity consultancy budget as part of your plans.
As a business, you have a legal and moral obligation to protect your customer’s data if you store any information about them. The simple fact is, it is your responsibility to protect your business from a possible USA Crime. The White House is working with countries around the world to stop these types of attacks and hold the people responsible for them accountable.
What Steps can you Take to Protect Your SMB from Cyber Attacks?
Protecting your business involves taking the necessary steps and educating yourself. Simple things you can do are-
- Backing up your data on a separate hard drive that can be disconnected from the internet. If you have a data breach and it is being held ransom, you can avoid having to pay it and buy it back if you have regularly backed up your data.
- Invest in your anti-virus and malware. These are often overlooked as they can seem expensive, but these are an investment in the safety of your business.
- Invest in cybersecurity firms as part of your budget. You don’t need to have a full staff of security experts but it helps to have a company available that you can outsource your cybersecurity consultancy needs to.
It doesn’t matter what size of business you have, you are at risk of being hacked by people who do not care about the success or failure of your business. If you can, start making changes to help protect yourself and your customers. Even the smallest changes can make a huge impact on your cyber safety. If in doubt, speak to a cybersecurity firm that will understand your needs.