It’s Not about Fear, but You should Be Concerned about Cybercrime.
I want to begin plainly and honestly here: I hate writing and promoting Firewell Technology Solutions’ services from a fear-mongering point of view. The “work with us or else this could happen” strategy feels manipulative to me, and that’s not my intent. The challenge is that cybercrime threats are real, and part of what we do is give our clients a fighting chance against cybercrime. So I hope this article reads more as a sharing of information, of bringing awareness, and of scaffolding a plan of action.
According to statistical data presented by marketing firm 99 Firms (2021) 50% of all US businesses operate from home; there are 31.7 million small businesses in the US, and 43% of small businesses have no cybersecurity defense plan. If we assume that most (if not all) home-based businesses are also “small businesses,” that means 50% of 31.7 million US businesses have no cybersecurity defense plan. It’s reasonable to assume that if I have come to this conclusion, more nefarious technical agents have come to the same conclusion. 15 million small businesses with no cybersecurity plan is a huge chunk of the market share for cybercriminals.
Ransomware Is on the Rise
Ransomware has been on the rise for the last few years, and it is continuing to gain traction because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has created opportunities for a variety of cybercrime activities because of the increased frequency in which people are remotely logging in to business networks.
More locally speaking, many readers might already be aware that Visalia Unified School District was recently a victim of a ransomware attack in mid-May 2021. Ransomware is a specific kind of cybercrime where a cybercriminal encrypts data so that the affected systems are unusable until the victim pays a ransom, hence, “ransomware.”
Granted, a school district is a “big” target, but small business owners are mistaken in the assumption that they are too small to be noticed. In fact, according to statistics presented by Small Business Trends (last updated 2021), small businesses make up 43% of the cybercrime market share (there’s that 43% figure again).
So What Can We Do to Mitigate Cybercrime Challenges for Small Businesses?
At a minimum, Firewell Technology Solutions recommends the following countermeasures:
- Anti-virus & Firewall(s) to prevent cybercriminals from gaining a foothold
- Remote Monitoring and Management software to help IT professionals intervene
- A 3-2-1 backup system: 3 copies of your data from various time periods stored on at least 2 different media with at least 1 backup media off-site to keep all of your data secure.
- Anti-phishing & anti-scamming training to keep users secure.
Thank you for considering Firewell Technology Solutions in defending against cybercrime.