Common Cybersecurity Pitfalls for Small Businesses

Diverse and Talented SMB Crew

Cybercriminals can launch very sophisticated attacks. But it’s often lax cybersecurity practices that enable most breaches. This is especially true when it comes to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

Most small business owners don’t prioritize cybersecurity because the main focus is growing the
business. They think they have a lower data breach risk. Or they may think it’s an expense they
can’t bear. But cybersecurity is not only a concern for large corporations. It’s a critical issue for
small businesses as well. Small businesses are often seen as attractive targets for cybercriminals
for the reason that they are relatively unguarded.

Statistics indicate that 50% of SMBs have experienced cyberattacks, with more than 60% facing severe consequences, including business closure. The good news is that most breaches stem from
human error, highlighting the importance of proper training and precaution.

Underestimating the Threat/Neglecting Employee Training

One of the biggest cybersecurity mistakes of SMBs is underestimating the threat landscape.
Many business owners assume that their company is too small to be a target. But this is a
dangerous misconception. Proactive cybersecurity measures are essential for all businesses,
regardless of size. Employee cybersecurity training is also frequently overlooked in small businesses, with owners assuming innate caution online. The cybercriminals are adapting at the
same pace as technology is, and employees might be faced with unfamiliar threats they have not been trained for properly.  Carmichael includes training and compliance reporting for training at our Vault level package.

Weak Passwords/Out of Date Software

Weak passwords pose a common security vulnerability, as employees often use easily guessable ones and reuse them across multiple accounts. Encourage the adoption of strong, unique passwords (using the pass phrase methodology) and consider implementing multi-factor authentication for added security. Failing to
keep software and operating systems up to date is another mistake. Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain access to systems. Small businesses should
regularly update their software to patch known security flaws. This includes operating systems,
web browsers, and antivirus programs.  Or, of course, look for a managed service provider to manage these for you.  At Carmichael, we include all of these basics in our Deadbolt Package (and above).

Failing to Regularly Watch Networks

SMBs without dedicated IT staff may experience delayed detection of security breaches.
Implement network monitoring tools or consider outsourcing network monitoring services for
prompt threat identification and response.  A Firewall that includes Intrusion Detection, Prevention and Country-blocking is considered essential these days.  It’s also typically required by your Cyber Breach Insurance coverage.  Network management is included in all Carmichael packages as well.  We recommend Ubiqiti as a minimum… and Cisco Meraki for highly-regulated industry verticals, such as Legal, Healthcare and Financial Services.

Thinking They Don’t Need Managed IT Services

Small businesses often believe they are too small to invest in managed IT services, despite
evolving cyber threats. Managed service providers like Carmichael Consulting offer solutions tailored to
SMB budgets, enhancing cybersecurity and optimizing IT infrastructure.

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