data breaches have become common in the headlines, but it’s not just big
businesses that are the targets of hackers. 
According to the 2018
Hiscox Small Business Cyber Risk Report
, 47% of small businesses had at
least one cyber attack in the past year. 
Yet, barely 52% of small businesses have a clearly defined strategy for cybersecurity.   Even
more alarming is the fact that 65% of small businesses failed to act after
experiencing a cybersecurity incident.

are costly.  The Ponemon Institute reported
that average costs in 2017 related to a malware attack on small and
medium-sized businesses  were $1.03
million due to damage or theft of IT assets, and $1.21 million due to disruption
of business operations. 

The good news
is that free resources are available to small and medium-sized businesses to beef
up their cybersecurity.  The Global
Cybersecurity Alliance (GCA), a non-profit organization backed by the New York City
District Attorney’s Office and the City of London Police, recently released a free cybersecurity toolkit.  The toolkit is great for business owners who
want to reduce common cyber risks. 

The GCA Cybersecurity
Toolkit is built around the Center for Internet Security
framework.  GCA claims that
addressing just the first five CIS Controls can reduce the risk of cyberattack
by 85%.  Geared toward a nontechnical audience,
the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit takes users through six “toolboxes,” each one designed
to address an aspect of cybersecurity:

  1. Know
    what you have – take inventory of hardware and software
  2. Update
    your defenses – updating systems, applications, and security settings, and
    securing your website
  3. Beyond
    simple passwords –selecting strong passwords and implementing two-factor
  4. Prevent
    phishing and viruses – preventing malware and phishing attacks
  5. Defend
    against ransomware – using backup tools to guard against ransomware infection
  6. Protect
    your brand – preventing others from spoofing your brand name and email

If you’re a business owner looking for a user-friendly way
to begin building a cybersecurity program, the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit is a
good starting point.

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