The Impact of Ignoring Malware Prevention

The cost—and likelihood—of attacks on both large and small businesses is rising.

ESET Guest Blogger

September 26, 2019

2 Min Read
Thief stealing data.
Getty Images

Many business owners hear of malware in the news–such as breaches that hit Facebook and Target–but assume that hackers wouldn’t bother with a small business when they could go after a big enterprise. Unfortunately, hackers see a small company with less-robust security policies as an ideal target, so failure to implement malware prevention can be a costly mistake.

Cyber criminals employ sophisticated means to infiltrate businesses, and, from small companies to big government agencies, there’s a threat to data assets, money and reputation. Small-business owners need to heed the warning to develop effective malware prevention plans and be ready when, not if, they are attacked.

Few small businesses have the resources to survive a malware attack. According to a study by Ponemon Institute, 61% of small-business owners indicated they had experienced a cyber attack in 2017, compared with 55% in 2016. Experts say this trend will continue.

The cost of a cyber attack has also gone up, with the average small-business owner reporting costs of $955,429 in 2016 and $1,207,965 in 2017. The typical business owner doesn’t have this type of cash reserve ready to handle a malware attack.

There are certain industries that are more often targeted by cyber criminals:

  • Financial services

  • Information technology

  • Manufacturing

  • Retail

  • Professional services

Implementing a Malware Prevention Plan

There are steps you can take to create some protection around your small business:

  1. Employee training: Invest in the right training for your team that not only helps them recognize the signs of an attack, but also builds awareness about the potential impact an attack could have on the company. Use real-life examples of companies that struggled to get a footing following a malware attack. Teach employees to look for signs of a phishing email, such as a third-party sender with an unexpected email address or an email that’s worded with urgent language.

  2. Engage in monitoring:This step can be automated, and small businesses with limited resources for IT personnel should take advantage of the automation option. You need an established baseline of normal activity so that you can identify when a malware attack is underway.

  3. Plan a response and test it:It’s not enough to have a plan in place in the event of an attack. A critical step in malware prevention is the testing of your response plan, checked under a variety of different circumstances. Update the plan as necessary to ensure it can be executed quickly in the event of an attack.

To minimize the cost of a malware attack, it’s a good idea to invest in malware prevention, no matter the size of your business. To get started, contact us today.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.


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