Those who support SMB’s with financial services and any form of security solutions should read a series of recent articles that explain how cybersecurity has become THE top concern for business executives. The data and quotes in these articles demonstrate why their concerns are growing and what your companies might provide to help alleviate their SMB clients’ concerns.
The first article, The State of Small Business Cybersecurity in 2021, from May 2021, references a 2019 study conducted with SMBs that indicates a lackadaisical viewpoint that has left this market segment extremely vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. For example:
This is all despite the fact that 76% of U.S. SMB’s reported a digital attack in the preceding year of the study. And, also the fact that 60% of SMB’s that have fallen victim to a data breach end up closing their doors within 6 months of the breach. This article specifically notes that these attitudes make SMBs a very attractive target for digital criminals and they must create budgets that allow for:
The second article, Cyber Threats Still Leading Concern for Businesses, from September 2021, shows a more diligent perspective for business executives based on a 2021 study conducted by Beazley that accounts for the effects of the Covid pandemic. The decentralization of technology for thousands of business owners during the pandemic opened the door to cyber criminals, who exploited unprotected networks and processes as quickly as possible. This article notes that cyber criminals are increasingly well funded and innovative, requiring constant organizational vigilance for protecting data.
This particular study noted that, in this environment, 38% of the surveyed respondents from the US saw cyber issues as the top ranked concern. Beazley executives behind this study noted the importance for businesses to supplement their risk operations with a suite of cyber risk management services and post-event incident response solutions.
Finally, a third article, Surveys Highlight Executives’ Cybersecurity Concerns, cites data from the annual Travelers Risk Index survey, which includes some sobering stats:
So, what can be done to help your SMB clients? If you want to make a major impact in protecting clients there are opportunities for awareness, education, and response/remediation services you can bring them. Infrastructure and technology changes are difficult to implement, and costly. So there are low cost solution that exists to maximize the knowledge of employees and executives, and provide the ultimate safety net of response and recovery. Search them out and incorporate them into your core services to support clients.
There is a significant opportunity for security solution providers and financial institutions to bring education, awareness and critical recovery solutions to clients for protection, safety, and peace of mind. Bring these solutions to your clients, and you will engage them for a very, very long time.
Click here to schedule a private WebEx Presentation that's tailored for your organization to learn more about Vero's VBiz and other ID Theft Solutions.
As if 2020 wasn't bad enough, we enter 2021 with another looming danger that continues to expand and wreak havoc in millions of peoples’ lives. It's the 'Cyber-demic,' a cyber-warfare that's spreading like we haven't seen before, caused by hackers who are leveraging COVID-19 to steal, sell, and damage personal identities. Even more unsettling is that, unlike the pandemic, there's no vaccine to slow down these attacks that are rapidly spreading and will continue to haunt individuals and businesses alike.
A detailed article about the 2021 Experian Data Breach forecast paints a grim picture of what's yet to come:
Without any warnings, your small business clients could face significant risks on several fronts.
As Covid-19 continues to make the news, the vaccine rollout will present opportunities for criminals to prey on many Americans' fears, confusion, and misinformation. The advent of “contract tracing” organizations is creating new avenues for criminals to steal your client’s personal health information (PHI), or perhaps the thieves will pretend to be contract tracers to maximize the information they can steal. Health records continue to be the most valuable data to resell on the black market, which opens nearly everyone up to vicious attacks of all kinds.
With Covid-19 protocols requiring more and more people to set up Home Working environments and the 5G Networks' evolution, cyber-hackers have innumerable opportunities for attacks. These technological hacking geniuses know all the vulnerabilities of Home Networking. The extensive connectivity of 5G technology makes your clients’ employees all more vulnerable to being caught off guard. According to the 2021 Experian Data Breach Industry Forecast, with the technological control of a business' security and other devices, criminals will more regularly hold a business hostage in exchange for ransom, valuable information, or just for the potential fame.
Add to all of this the fundamental uncertainty of day-to-day restrictions and potential mandates on the public, and it is easy to understand that your clients are wondering how to best protect their lives, their businesses, and their assets.
Have you considered new ways to generate revenue that will expand your clients' trust in the services you provide to them? You can protect your small business clients with new services that include robust protective monitoring and ID theft and fraud recovery. This monitoring can include Dark Web monitoring to alert businesses and individuals when their non-financial data (i.e. PHI) is being attacked or used against them. These kinds of services are available, and several components can extend to their employees’ families. Bringing these enhanced services goes a long way to increase client loyalty while helping you generate additional revenue.
Yes, the vulnerabilities of data breaches are ever-present for today’s businesses, and fraud is getting worse all the time. Why not heed the "cyber-demic" warnings of the 2021 Data Breach Industry report and use this as an opportunity to show your clients you care by providing them with an invaluable service that they can’t afford to go without?
Jim McCabe is the SVP, Identity Theft Solutions for Vero, LLC. He has developed his subject matter expertise in ID theft & data breach solutions and has contributed to industry publications and blog sites, while consistently speaking for conferences and webinars to foster awareness and education of best practices.