the chances of security breaches. Therefore, they can be a perfect target for hackers and cybercriminals. Only 31 percent of small businesses take active measures to guard themselves against security breaches. Furthermore, 41 percent of small businesses are unaware of the risks accrued with the human error, and only 22 percent of small businesses are willing to improve the security measures from last year. However, there has been a significant growth compared to 2013 data for the same parameter.

The reasons for the vulnerability of SMBs can be grouped under two categories:

a)      Lack of awareness

b)      Exposure to threats

Lack of Awareness

Most of the security breaches at SMBs can be attributed to their lack of awareness. The management of these SMBs is unaware of the various security threats present on the Web. Not only the management, even staff and employees are unaware of threats. More than 75 percent of the employees leave their system unsecured. Twenty-nine percent of the participants in a survey said that cybersecurity is an “average” priority on their list. In the same survey, only 15 percent of participants confidently agreed that they are “very knowledgeable” about advanced persistent threats while a whopping 75 percent acknowledged that they are only “somewhat” knowledgeable about the topic.

Exposure to Threats

Lack of awareness and exposure to threats is a vicious circle which is very difficult to get rid of. Many businesses are exposed to cyber threats due to a lack of knowledge about the causes and the remedies available. Around 25 percent of respondents rated their companies’ abilities to detect and block threats as “poor” or “fair” while only 39 percent agreed that their company’s security system was excellent or good. This gives a fair idea about the situation prevailing in the market today.

Security Breaches Hurt Small Businesses Most

It might not surprise you that security breaches hurt small businesses the most. More than 70 percent of attackstarget small businesses. It is estimated that 60 percent of hacked SMBs go out of business only after six months.  This research may be a bit skewed, since the number of people ignorant about cybersecurity is high. People still consider traditional security measures like antiviruses and firewalls efficient. Reducing people from the list would lead to even a smaller number of people aware about the matter.

Cost of Data Breach is Higher Than You Think

A lack of awareness, coupled with exposure to threats, has led to a drastic increase in the number of attacks. These attacks increased to 31 percent from mere 18 percent in 2014. If you think that you can get away easily after an attack, think again. The cost of recovery is staggering and in most cases, it leads to the shutdown of businesses. The average cost of recovery from SMB data breaches is $36,000 and can even lead to a loss of up to $50,000. This amount may even be the total value of small businesses. Recovery may be near to impossible if you are a data breach victim.

Since most small businesses aren’t able to recover after security breaches, it is always a good option to keep precautionary measures ready against an attack.

Protect Your Organization

SMBs are large corporations in their nascent stage. Any breach at such a stage may prove to be detrimental to the future of the entire business. Businesses must take every step with due care and diligence to avoid data breach incidents. If large corporations are not able to protect themselves against attacks, then it can become a staggering task for the SMBs to come up with a foolproof plan to counter these incidents.

Mending the above-mentioned loopholes and devising secure measures for protecting your business proves to be extremely efficient in protecting yourself against security threats. A little precaution and smart work can help you protect millions. Keeping a vigilant eye on the events in your surroundings will definitely help you stay in business and rise to the top.

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