It’s a known fact that cyber threats are at an all-time high. And once again, small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to be hackers’ favorite targets.
This noteworthy Verizon report shows that 28% of all data breaches involve small businesses. 60% of those SMBs went out of business within six months of the attack.
Why did these SMBs have to close their doors permanently?
A data breach does not come without a cost. In 2021, a data breach, on average, cost a single SMB around $2.98 million (ibm.com). For an SMB, a hit of $2.98 million can be a devastating blow. Unfortunately, we can only presume that these numbers will rise in 2022.
2022 Cybersecurity Predictions
Before we talk about how SMBs can improve their cybersecurity posture, let’s review the top emerging cybersecurity trends for 2022.
The hybrid workplace will become more common.
During the height of COVID-19, many businesses switched over to fully remote work setups. Now, many companies find themselves using a hybrid workplace environment. With this setup, some employees work from the office, while others work from home. Under this new configuration, companies need to know whether their data is secure or not.
This surge of remote workers is music to a cybercriminal’s ears. Bad actors will take advantage of inexperienced remote workers by exploiting weaknesses. Not only can remote workers have their privacy put at risk, but they could also accidentally open the floodgates to company data.
Cybercriminals will continue to target supply chains.
Security experts predict that supply chain attacks will surge in 2022. Supply chains are an area of interest for cybercriminals for two reasons:
- They have an excellent ROI for cybercriminals because a supply chain attack can cause a lot of chaos. For example, in 2021, a ransomware attack on a meat supplier, JBS, caused multiple meat plants across the US to temporarily shut down. To restore its system, JBS eventually paid the hackers $11 million.
- A hacker only needs a small entry point to shut down a supply chain. If you think about it, many organizations make up a supply chain. One false move from one of those organizations can allow access to the rest of the supply chain.
With supply chain threats come more compliance laws.
Governments will continue to work to establish regulations to protect these supply chains. For instance, the US government launched CMMC 2.0 in 2021 to protect the defense industrial base. To learn more about CMMC 2.0, our recent acquisition, MRW Systems, has an article that breaks down what SMBs need to know.
Where does this Leave SMBs?
SMBs are more vulnerable than ever before.
SMBs are an attractive target for digital threat actors. Like large enterprises, they house personal data and other sensitive information. However, many SMBs lack the security measures to keep that data safe.
At this point, many larger organizations have prioritized cybersecurity. With better security technology, larger organizations have taken the target off their backs.
As mentioned before, hackers only need a small window of opportunity to succeed. With larger organizations having better defenses, hackers will likely seek out other options in 2022.
Small businesses are those other options, especially those with poor cybersecurity hygiene.
The good news is that all can change today.
SMBs can improve their overall cybersecurity posture and take the target off their backs. In this article, we are going to share actionable steps on how to strengthen your defenses in 2022. Let’s get started:
How to Improve Cybersecurity in 2022
Test your defenses.
Sometimes you don’t know what is wrong until you look under the hood. Cybersecurity operates by similar rules. It’s difficult to tell if an organization has security vulnerabilities without running tests.
There are many different types of tests you can run on your security. Here are the most common types of testing:
A network assessment provides a visual framework of what your network consists of and aspects that are causing issues or can be improved. Regular network security audits are critical to finding and diagnosing internal and external security threats and helping you get the most out of your system. To learn how CompassMSP conducts network assessments, please follow this link.
Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, is a cyberattack simulation launched on an organization’s network. The goal of the pen test is to evaluate the security of an IT infrastructure by safely trying to exploit it. Our recent acquisition, MRW Systems, has a good explanation of how we conduct these tests. You can learn more about the process over on their website.
Lastly, you’ll want a third party to conduct the test. You do NOT want to invite a random guy off the street to poke around your network. Likewise, you don’t always want your IT department to conduct these assessments as they can be biased.
You’ll want to look for a qualified security team.
Educate your employees.
What is a small business’s greatest cybersecurity vulnerability?
95% of all cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. – Cybint
Why is that? It’s because employees make human errors. These errors are unintentional actions or lack of action that allow a breach, ransomware, or result in some other form of damage.
Cybersecurity awareness training teaches employees how to defend company data from cybercriminals.
Security experts are the best candidates for leading these training sessions; and the classes can come in many forms, like in-person lectures or interactive online videos.
For a Cybersecurity awareness training program to be effective, it must teach employees the following:
- How to recognize a security threat.
- How to abide by corporate policies.
- How to follow security procedures and protocols.
Lastly, these training sessions should be frequent enough to keep employees fresh on best practices. If you’d like to be invited to our quarterly cybersecurity awareness training webinars, please fill out the form below.
Review your cybersecurity policies.
In its simplest form, a cybersecurity policy is a document that describes a company’s security controls and activities.
It is critical to keep your organization’s cybersecurity policies up to date.
Cybersecurity policies are not a static document that you write once and put on a shelf. Instead, you should think of them as living documents. As you make changes to your IT and network, your policies should change with it.
Likewise, data security threats evolve at a rapid pace. That means your policies need regular updates and modifications. We recommend you review policies at least twice every year.
If your organization does NOT have cybersecurity policies, 2022 is the time to partner with a provider (like CompassMSP) and create those documents.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Cybercrime is brutal and relentless. But it is not hopeless.
One of the most effective ways for SMBs to increase their security is through the efforts of others. It’s not uncommon for SMBs to use security service providers to amplify the capabilities of their in-house IT teams.
At CompassMSP, you provide SMBs with managed cybersecurity solutions.
Our managed security services offer continuous oversight, 24/7/365. With us by your side, you’ll be able to continue to run your business with peace of mind.
To learn more about our effective small business security service, please click here or fill out the form below: