October is Cyber Security Awareness month. To inform and educate small businesses, Staples and Norton are teaming up and have created the ‘Take the Pledge’ campaign. This month-long campaign will include educational content, twitter chats, survey reports and giveaways from Staples and Norton, including a grand prize package with a Dell Latitude 14” Laptop and Norton security software. Data breaches have become much too common. While most associate these cybercrimes with large retail organizations, that perception is actually skewed. While large businesses get mentioned on the nightly news when there is a data breach, the reality is that small businesses are just as vulnerable. Often more so. In fact, a recent survey by Staples found that over 1 in 4 small businesses do not have a plan in please to respond to any data breach, proving the lack of preparedness against cybercrimes amongst small businesses. A 2013 National Small Business Association technology survey revealed that 44 percent of the small businesses’ reported a cyber-attack. Of those reported, 59 percent suffered a service interruption and 35 percent reported information was falsely sent from their businesses’ domains or email addresses. The average cost associated with the cyber-attack was $8.699.48 per incident. This is a financial hit that most small businesses cannot readily absorb. Knowing how detrimental the effects of a cyber-attack can be on a small business, Staples and Norton want to go the extra step to help them understand the risks and how they can better protect themselves. Since 39 percent of small businesses in the 2013 National Small Business Association technology survey report handling security internally, either by themselves or with help of a staff member, and 1 out of 5 of those surveyed from the recent Staples small business survey admitting that they don’t understand how to protect their businesses from cyber criminals, there is definitely a need to share more information to help keep small businesses stay safe. You can follow the ‘Take the Pledge’ Twitter hashtag #CSPledge to get tips and information on how to keep your small business safe. You can also join the conversation with Melinda Emerson, producer of #SmallBizChat – a peer-to-peer Twitter live chat mentoring program designed to help entrepreneurs get answers to their small business question — on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 8pm to 9pm ET, as she chats with business expert Brian Moran. Brian and his team at Brian Moran & Associates are passionate about helping small business owners run better businesses and Brian has a wealth of information on cybersecurity that he’ll be sharing, including mobile security and cyber-security in the age of social media. He’ll also share options for protecting a business when owners are not comfortable managing cybersecurity in house. There is going to be A LOT of valuable information being shared. Follow along so you don’t miss a thing, while also enjoying a chance to win one of the great prizes being offered to help keep your business safe.
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