Small Business Cybersecurity: Coordinating Federal Resources
60% of Small Businesses Close Within Six Months of a Cyber Attack
“In our Committee’s efforts to spotlight these serious and growing threats, it has been abundantly clear that the federal government needs to step up its game when it comes to protecting the cybersecurity of small businesses and individuals. And, to some extent, federal agencies have begun offering resources directly to small businesses in recent years,” added Chabot.
According to a report from Verizon, 71 percent of cyberattacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees in 2012.
A DEVASTATING EFFECT ON SMALL BUSINESSES
“When implementing new technologies, small businesses need to fully understand all of the potential security risks created by connecting to the Internet,” said Chuck Romine, Ph.D., Director of the Information Technology Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “The risks to systems are so complex and pervasive that one cannot reasonably expect small businesses to be experts in all areas of security, including properly implementing security controls for complex system configurations and assessing security features associated with new and emerging technology. Cybersecurity incidents can have a devastating effect on small businesses—60% of small companies will close within six months following a cyberattack.”
THE FTC WEIGHS IN
“Reports of data breaches affecting millions of American consumers have become commonplace,” testified Maureen K. Ohlhausen, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “Data is an increasingly vital asset for every business, including small businesses, and as companies collect more personal information from consumers, the databases they create become more attractive targets for criminals. Hackers and others seek to exploit vulnerabilities, obtain unauthorized access to consumers’ sensitive information, and potentially misuse it in ways that can cause serious harm to consumers and businesses.”
SBDCs CAN HELP
“If a small business has any Fortune 500 companies as customers, they are an even more enticing target,” explained Charles “Tee” Rowe, the President & CEO of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). “These secondary attacks are now a regular problem for small business. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to email attacks mimicking their banks or other trusted institutions and citing an urgent need for account or some other vital information, and often multiple employees have access to that information. Further, business accounts do not enjoy the same protection against loss as consumer accounts—something many small business owners do not discover until it’s too late.”