It is no secret that large corporations are prime targets for cyberattacks based on news headlines. However, most small businesses do not realize that they represent a preferred target for cybercriminals. Small and mid-sized businesses are hit by 62 percent of all cyberattacks, about 4,000 per day, according to IBM. Small businesses are an easy, soft target for cybercriminals to penetrate. Small businesses have more digital information and assets than the individual consumer, coupled with less security and subpar protection in place compared to larger companies. This presents an ideal balance between vulnerability and opportunity for hackers.
Statistics from the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:
- Almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack.
- More than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses.
- More than 75 percent of employees leave their computers unsecured.
- As much as 60 percent of hacked small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months.
There are financial implications from cyberattacks that small businesses must face as well. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and for middle market companies, it is over $1 million. And these costs may not fully reflect all the associated indirect costs such as lost productivity, loss of customer trust, or opportunity costs such as lost revenue or a damaged reputation. Can small businesses in the maritime industry afford to deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack? The threat is real and growing.
A poll from Nationwide found that 45 percent of small business owners do not have a cyberattack response plan in place. Cybersecurity practices at many small businesses are inadequate, in part, because many owners believe their business is too small to be attacked and their information is not worth a hacker’s time. This is far from the truth. All businesses are at risk, no matter the size, and must view cybersecurity in a serious and logical manner in order to prevent the theft or loss of data and other potential damages. Cyber investments are greatly needed for companies of all sizes across the maritime industry.
About Gnostech Inc.:
Gnostech Inc. is an applied engineering and consulting company with expertise in information assurance and cybersecurity engineering, and major combat and space systems development and integration. For more information, visit www.gnostech.com, or stay connected by following us on LinkedIn or @GnostechInc on Twitter.