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Data Security is a problem for the Small and Medium sized business. Don’t be naïve in thinking it’s not a threat to your business and ignore it.

Small/medium businesses are the target of cyber theft at unprecedented levels. This targeting is the direct result of the lack of awareness to their individual threat and the proper preparation and safeguards to ensure that they are not another negative statistic.

While having the proper IT/MSP support is very important, this will not by itself result in averting the number one cause of cyber intrusion and theft; EMPLOYEE ERROR! Over 90% of cyber theft and breaches is the direct result of employee error. It is vital that employees understand that their behavior is critical to the protection of theirs and their client’s information. It’s important for owners and managers to make their employees assets in this area at protecting theirs as well as their client’s information.

When owners and managers are made aware of the employee error problems and that the IT/MSP industry cannot successfully address human behavior, they want to make the improvements necessary to change the outcome.

The IT industry is now spending over $100 billion annually. In the face of this historic spending to prevent intrusion by cyber bad actors; the number of incidents grew over 412% in 2018 over 2017. In 2017 it was estimated that there were over 4000 daily incidents of cyber intrusion. A few statistics:

1. $188,000 is the cost to SMB’s of a cyber breach.

2. 90% of all SMB’s are out of business within 24 months of a data breach/loss

3. 60% are closed within six months.

4. 63% (and climbing as the cost go ever higher) of SMB’s lack the resources to combat the negative effects of a breach or data loss.

5. 67% of all cyber threat is now directed at the SMB

6. 90% of all breaches are the result of human error.

The solution: ensure that all measures are implemented to educate and train employees in their behavior in properly handling information, but digital and nondigital alike, including what they say or work they take home in the form of files or phone conversation they have. Of course, the errors that are caused by phishing emails, ransomware and other digital threats must be understood to act appropriately as well. It is important that employees know why their individual role and activity are important to the safety and health of their company and clients. When they understand the ‘Why” they will let the IT person take care of it.

All programs to accomplish behavioral change must be simple, affordable and effective. It should have the right education and balance of training that results in reduction of employee error as to reduce the risk that they face every day. The program should map all education and training for the industry they are in and serve to the appropriate and up to date policy and procedures. This is critical to be able to show that the company has acted responsibly based on their size scope and complexity.

Working together we can reduce the number of incidents resulting in employee error and keep more SMB’s succeeding and doing what they love and enjoy which is building their business successfully and serving their client’s needs knowing that they have done all that they can do to protect their information.

This Hot Deal is promoted by Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce.