Helpless, hopeless: that’s the feeling I get for business owners everywhere when I think about how susceptible they are to a cyber attack. By the way, what is a cyber attack anyway? That’s just something for big businesses to worry about, isn’t it?
For years we have been hearing about cyber attacks, cyber criminals and my all time favorite, “Cyber Liability”. I find the term Cyber Liability, so foreign it never registered on my radar. As a small business owner, I felt like it was an issue for big businesses to worry about. A few years ago, a new law in New York made it the responsibility of any company in the financial space, including all small business owners, to ensure the security of their client’s data. That’s when our education really began. Although we realized we were doing some things right, we also recognized there was a lot of room for improvement. So, we began a multi-year process to address the gaps we found in in our cyber security program.
Laws are being enacted in more and more states to squarely identify small business owners as the new defenders of client data or employee data. A better term for this is Any Private Data (APD), which should be protected at all costs, yet somehow becomes public. This is what legal practitioners mean when they say cyber liability. Courts now hold business owners responsible for protecting Any Private Data and the trend seems to be one where monetary damages are now being assessed to compensate the victims, clients or employees, for the business owner’s failure to protect their data.
When you think about the sheer volume of possible attacks a business owner is susceptible to, it is easy to feel as if you are helpless or hopeless to possibly defend against such an attack. Think about it, Facebook spends $3.7 Billion dollars a year on cyber security to protect client data, and the cyber criminals still got through. Facebook was breached.
So, what’s your budget as a small business owner? Most spend little or nothing on this area. That is precisely why cyber criminals are now targeting you. Think of it this way, if you were a hungry lion, maybe you haven’t eaten in days, who would you target, the strong, fast, agile zebra OR would you go after a gazelle that is now limping along? To cyber criminals, you my friend, are seen as the limping Gazelle. You are an easy target for cyber criminals, sorry to break the bad news to you.
Here is my commitment to you, business owner to business owner: I will do everything in my power, I will take all the knowledge which has taken years and thousands of dollars to accumulate – and I will distill it into actionable steps that you can take to begin protecting your organization from a cyber attack. Forget the feeling of helplessness, it does no one any good. Trade it instead for ACTION. Make a commitment to act now to protect Any Private Data you hold in your possession. Commit to act now to implement simple things, that cost little or no money, but that make a world of difference in the war against cyber criminals. Commit now to protecting the profitability of your company. I will show you how!
Rodrigo Mora, CIC
7.6.19 Norfolk, Virginia