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Small Business Cyber Resilience: Protecting Your Reputation and Your Business Against Digital Threats

Aug 8, 2023
Patrick Merli

The Importance of Security Compliance in Preserving Business Reputation 

No business, regardless of its size, is exempt from the risk of cyberattacks. Even small businesses have experienced damage to their reputation due to data breaches. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”), 50% of medium or small businesses have been victims of cyberattack, and over 60% of those attacked go out of business. In our interconnected economy, cyberattacks targeting large companies can indirectly have a detrimental impact on the operations of a small business. Implementing a security compliance program does not just safeguard a company’s image and reputation but can also reduce their overall security risks. 

Recognizing the Indispensability: The Significance of IT Compliance and Cybersecurity 

Given these circumstances, it is imperative for even the smallest organizations to prioritize cybersecurity and IT compliance programs. An effective compliance program helps mitigate risks faced by businesses, evaluate vendors and minimize the consequences arising from incidents affecting other players in their industry or supply chain. By adhering to practices and policies incorporated within an IT compliance program, businesses not only reduce their exposure to risks but also improve their eligibility for cyber insurance policies and their ability to negotiate more favorable deductibles. 

Safeguarding the Digital Frontier: Essential Measures for Cybersecurity 

To help support small businesses, the SBA regularly shares a list of recommended measures that all businesses should implement. These practices are commonly echoed in IT compliance frameworks and regulations. One of these recommendations is providing IT security training to all staff. Regardless of a company’s size, awareness is crucial. Employees who are well versed in identifying the social engineering and phishing techniques commonly employed by malicious actors can significantly enhance protection against cyber threats. Another important measure is enabling multifactor authentication for all business applications and users. Additional recommendations include: 

  • Utilizing reliable antivirus software. 
  • Regularly backing up critical data.
  • Implementing access controls for information.
  • Strengthening network security measures.
  • Maintaining up to date software and operating systems. 

    Taking a Step Forward: Leveraging Available Resources for Comprehensive IT Compliance 

    In addition to assisting businesses in getting started, both the SBA and the FCC provide an array of resources and tools to help organizations develop their compliance programs, assess their security stance and enhance their IT security initiatives. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) also offers information on their website to aid businesses in exploring cyber insurance policies. Finally, there are government agencies that provide resources to assist small businesses in achieving strong IT compliance, as well as many other sources. 

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