You may own a successful small business here in Michigan and have heard of the cyber attacks on large national companies like Target and Home Depot. And you may think to yourself that it is a good thing that your business is small enough that you don’t have to worry about cyber thieves attempting to hack your systems and steal customer credit card information.
Your business may not collect that type of information, and you believe even if you did, your small size affords a degree of protection. After all, who would target your business? And it is not just you, many small businesses share this belief, with one survey finding 71 percent of small businesses having only modest concerns with regard to this type of cyber attack.
The reality is if you have one internet connected computer, you are at risk. From customer lists and confidential health care information to your bank and other financial accounts, cyber criminals will mine any business for any information that could be useful.
There is also the potential risk of your website or social media being taken down, compromised or used in offensive or defamatory ways. These harms can damage your business in intangible but significant ways. From losing an individual order to alienating an important business relationship, even short-term incidents can cause long-term damage.
Any of these issues could cause additional problems downstream when you breach a contract or miss deadlines that could generate expensive business litigation due to the ancillary effects of your system being rendered nonfunctional or confidential information being leaked.
And if cyber thieves emptied your bank accounts, you may be able to sue your bank to recover the funds, but that could take months or years. Would your company be able to continue to operate after such an event?
Legal, financial and computer security professionals can all help to assess your systems and help you determine the level of protection you need to employ.
Source: rapidgrowthmedia.com, “Michigan small businesses are at a greater risk of cyber crime than many believe,” Natalie Burg, December 03, 2015