No matter the size of your business, you must take security seriously.


I recently wrote about using passwords correctly, and a reader replied: “I’ve been getting told this for years, but who’s ever going to attack my 12-employee business?”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard remarks like that. The answer is: “Who won’t attack you!?”

Hackers don’t care whether your annual revenue is in five figures or nine. They will target you. Indeed, if you’re on the smaller size, you’re more likely to be vulnerable because, chances are, you’re an easier target. After all, as BullGuard CEO Paul Lipman said: “Small businesses are not immune to cyberattacks and data breaches and are often targeted specifically because they often fail to prioritize security.”

A 2020 study by BullGuard, a cybersecurity company focused on the consumer and small business markets, found a third of companies with 50 or fewer employees report using free, consumer-grade cybersecurity. That’s okay as far it goes. For example, Microsoft Defender Antivirus, formerly Windows Defender, is, by the AV-TEST Institute‘s tests, a reasonably good anti-virus and malware-detection program. And, of course, it comes baked in and free in any still supported version of Windows. (Though if you’re still running Windows 7 or XP, you’ve got more security problems than any anti-virus program can help you with.)

But — and this is a killer — BullGuard also found one in five companies use no endpoint security whatsoever. I repeat no endpoint security. Tell me: Do you like playing Russian roulette with your company’s security?

Worse still, BullGuard also discovered that 43% of SMB owners have no cybersecurity defense plan in place at all. They’re relying on each user to do their best — like activating Microsoft Defender — to protect their PCs. These, mind you, are often the same people who use “password” for their password.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.



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