The luck of the Irish alone won't keep businesses safe on St. Patrick's Day

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Unfortunately, hackers stop for nothing, not even for the charming shamrocks or lovable leprechauns of St. Patrick’s Day. So if you thought you could forget about cybersecurity this St. Patrick’s Day and dance a little Irish jig, think again! If you ignore cybersecurity, the hackers who found a way to install malware onto your defenseless computers will be the only ones dancing a jig!

Businesses, in particular, should beef up their cyber defenses. And yes, that means all businesses, large and small. Hackers aren’t picky. They like to target large businesses because they make lucrative ransomware targets and have huge customer databases that are just ripe for exploiting. On the other hand, hackers also like to target small businesses. In fact, hackers see small businesses as their sweet spot. Small businesses typically have weaker cybersecurity, which makes them easier targets, and usually don’t have a budget to fight back against ransomware attacks.

Still, thinking this is all just a bunch of St. Patrick’s Day blarney? Then consider these alarming cybersecurity statistics about small businesses:

  • 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses
  • 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyber attack go out of business within six months of the attack
  • cybercrime costs SMBs more than $2.2 million a year

Cybersecurity, not luck, will keep your business safe

Clearly, the threat environment is active and intense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Even small businesses with limited budgets and resources can protect themselves from cyber-attacks. There are SMB cybersecurity measures that are easy to implement, effective and cost-efficient. Installing a managed antivirus solution that provides powerful endpoint security is the first place to start. Look for a solution that is easy to install and manage, and that offers important privacy features such as camera and microphone protection, anti-tracking features, protection against potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and protection from ransomware and phishing attacks.

Next, make sure that your software is always up to date

Keeping software current is crucial to your cybersecurity because software updates often include essential security patches that fix vulnerabilities. Of course, keeping your software up to date includes keeping your antivirus software up to date too. Antivirus programs use several different malware detection methods, one of which relies on a database of virus signatures. The antivirus identifies known malware by comparing the virus signatures in the database to the signatures of files on your computers. If there’s a match, there’s a virus. Signature databases are updated anytime new malware is discovered, but your antivirus won’t be able to detect the latest viruses if doesn’t use the most current database.

Finally, businesses must focus on one of their biggest vulnerabilities: their employees

According to helpnetsecurity.com, which specializes in information security, nearly half of all company executives and one in three small business owners claim that human error caused their data breaches. Since hackers have a number of different attacks they can launch to obtain access to sensitive data such as phishing attacks, brute force attacks, and others, employees need to be aware of these cyber-attacks and understand their potential impact. They should be taught important cybersecurity measures, learn to think critically about their online actions, and in general, maintain a high level of cybersecurity awareness.

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

According to the St. Patrick’s Day legend, leprechauns are paid for their work with gold coins that they collect in pots, hence the famous pots of gold associated with leprechauns. Obviously, strong cybersecurity for your business will not bring you a pot of gold, but it will bring your business security from hackers and cyber-attacks. And with 60% of small businesses failing within 6 months of a cyber attack, you don’t need a leprechaun to tell you how important it is for your business to implement strict cybersecurity measures.