Over 10,000 cyberattacks take place every single day, crippling businesses both large and small in revenue, customer service, and brand reputation. Does your business have protections in place, as well as a plan, in case a cyberattack does happen? Security research shows that as large enterprises do more to lock down their infrastructure, less-secure small businesses become the low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals.
“For small businesses, the most protection they have is nothing,” said Rick Rumbarger, Senior Director of Product Management at UltraDNS with Neustar. “Most simply don’t have protection because they don’t know what’s at risk.”
For small businesses, what is at stake is more than vital customer and client data, such as credit card numbers and other personal information, but consumer loyalty and brand credibility. A cyber attack can be anything from flooding service to a website to crash the server, disabling phone lines, or hacking in to steal personal information.
Neustar is an information and analytics company. Neustar’s UltraDNS Services are a comprehensive suite of managed DNS offerings providing a range of infrastructure solutions to organizations that rely on the Internet for critical business processes, applications and services. UltraDNS helps companies ensure website performance and protects their infrastructure. With so many small businesses relying on the Internet, it isn’t a matter of “if” they’ll get attacked but “when”.
Rumbarger advised that small businesses ought to have protection against cyber criminals because an attack, in the eyes of your providers, will put you at additional risk. For example, if your site is under attack and is hosted on a shared hosting service, the web hosting company will shut down your site to protect the other customers’ sites hosted on that same server. Even after the attack is finished and the dust settles, the web hosting company may not be willing to serve you again.
“A brand takes a long time to create, but only seconds to wipe out,” Rumbarger said. “When you’re comprised, your customers will connect dots that aren’t connected. They will worry about their passwords and their credit card numbers.”
Previously, a cyber attack had to be a huge, pre-meditated affair. To commit a cyber attack, one (or more) had to plan the event well in advance, be specially trained in how to pull it off, and have enough equipment to commit the attack successfully. Nowadays, no special training or expertise needed. With such powerful, fast technology at anyone’s fingertips, anyone can go ahead and attack a small business all by his or herself, for any reason. And with social media, a hacker can get his or her friends to help in matter of hours.
Rumbarger said that it’s important for businesses to have a plan in place in the event that a cyber attack happens. This plan should include more than sending a letter to customers about and offering a free credit report service for a year. Businesses ought to be proactive to prevent a cyberattack from happening again and jeopardizing more customers.
“Businesses should do the most that they can, not the least that they can,” he said. “You can’t get away with doing this yourself anymore.”