You think your network is protected from attacks. You have firewalls in place and your antivirus software is turned on. You’re not worried about your data, software or computers because there are so many other things for you to think about right now.
Professional services like law firms, engineering companies and accountants were the No. 1 target of cyber attackers from 2014 to 2019. (RSM Research, May, 2019). Put yourself in this risk scenario from Harris Law Firm and then see how you feel.
They are a group of 20 attorneys covering mostly business contracts, business litigation, and corporate law. They experienced a breach and operations were shut down for 3 days. They couldn’t access files; they couldn’t meet deadlines and their cases blew up. The initial result is that the owner lost days of sleep, he became over-stressed and yelled at everyone at both the office and at home. The firm’s clients were screaming at him from disappointment in losing their real estate deals, having to delay court proceedings and demanded retribution for their losses.
Over the next few weeks as their IT team worked to recover from the disaster, they completely lost 40% of their clients. This meant over 50% of revenue. After clients told everyone about their problems, the Harris reputation among the business community plummeted. They were disparaged on social media which spread like wildfire. Staff morale took a nose-dive and employee productivity slowed to a crawl.
While the fictitious name in this story and the results of this breach might sound dramatic, the depth of destruction this scenario describes is happening every day to businesses that don’t take information security seriously. You need to envision the very worst scenario and picture how you would not only respond to it but also how your business or your own mental health would survive it.
We’ve seen this time and again in 12 years of providing cybersecurity for law firms, engineering companies, accountants and other professional services organizations. The threat to your business is real, and there is more at stake than a few hours or days of downtime. At Arnet Technologies, we help you find where you are most vulnerable and get you the security solutions you need to continue doing business for many years to come.
Here are 7 common beliefs about cybersecurity that are putting your business at unnecessary risk.
YOUR COMPANY SIZE DOESN’T KEEP YOU SAFE FROM CYBER ATTACKS
The size of the company was irrelevant to the 600% increase in cyberthreats since COVID started (Forbes, May, 2020). As a small business, your company is easier for nefarious breaches due to you having fewer protections in place. In fact, 70% of small businesses are not prepared for attacks (Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, 2019).
YOUR INDUSTRY DOESN’T GET ATTACKED
This belief gives you a false sense of security. Professional services like law firms, engineering companies and accountants were the No. 1 target of cyber attackers from 2014 to 2019 (RSM Research, May, 2019). More than healthcare and finance. Personal data like your clients’ or employees’ credit card numbers, email addresses and passwords made up 75% of the compromises for financial gain (2020 Data Breach Investigations Report).
Top 5 threat activities to professional services businesses like yours:
1. Spyware and malware
2. Capturing stored data through malware
3. Brute force hacking
4. Use of stolen credentials from hacking
5. Exporting data through hacking
It takes days to discover a breach in a small business, often six months (Data Breach Response Times, June, 2020). How long can you afford to have your network security hacked and your data stolen?
STICKING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND WON’T PREVENT CYBER ATTACKS
Your employees and clients are counting on you to keep their most personal information safe. When they go through the hassle of identity theft and the personal inconvenience of having to clean up that mess, how do you think they will feel about you? Your stellar customer service over the last few years will hardly make up for their headaches.
Your relationship with that client will take a hit. Think about the ripple affect your decision to NOT provide the best security you can offer will cost you.
YOUR DATA ISN’T IMPORTANT TO HACKERS
Your computer security is not important to any hacker on the surface. Yet, the data you own is extremely valuable to you and hackers know that. They are banking on that belief and systematically poking holes in systems every day trying to find an opening. They don’t care who you are, they don’t even know who they’ve breached until it is accomplished. You are a random business that will show up on their radar at some point.
YOUR EMPLOYEES AREN’T HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR CYBERSECURITY
In most cases, small businesses under 10 employees have some anti-virus software, some $80 per year malware subscriptions and a few password protocols. Larger firms might have 50 employees, more workstations and much more data to protect. Big corporations with 1,000 employees have even more of everything including IT departments and security protocols, making it harder for hackers to break in.
Smaller firms tend to think they have enough protection, but the staff are still human and make mistakes like downloading software apps, clicking on emails when they don’t know the sender, and sharing passwords. Hackers look to nab the low-hanging fruit and that could be you.
YOUR CULTURE DOES NOT EMPHASIZE CYBERSECURITY
A cybersecurity plan can only protect your business from the inside out if you have a security culture in place. Each employee needs to understand the risks associated with emails, remote working environments, password protocols and protecting company data. As a cybersecurity company, Arnet Technologies helps you define security protocols, implement them across your entire staff and monitor when an employee inadvertently clicks a phishing link, opens a suspicious email or otherwise compromises your whole system.
RISK ASSESSMENTS ARE FOR BIG BUSINESS
Whether you are big or small, knowing how vulnerable your company is will help you determine if you can mitigate the risk easily or if you need to take further actions. You don’t know what you don’t know, so having the information to prevent the above scenario makes good business sense. Every business needs to consider the ramifications of having their clients’ or employees’ information stolen and have a plan in place for when it happens.
WHAT IS YOUR RISK LEVEL?
Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate the true risks that cyber attacks pose to your business, then you can take a critical look at your operations and calculate what is at stake. Only you can decide what you are willing to lose. The very best step you can take right now is to call us for a risk assessment at 888-487-6057. Our cybersecurity analyst will show you the level of risk you are exposed to, the places you are most vulnerable, and how you can shore up your foundation. If you continue to ignore cybersecurity, you could lose everything you’ve worked so hard for. Our process itself is painless. Your efforts in reaching out to us? Priceless.