As international tensions rise, the issue of cyberattacks — and by extension preventing such attacks — becomes critical. So much so, in fact, that 78.95% of small business respondents to a new national survey from Iselin-based Provident Bank said that media coverage of international crises had caused them to think about their own cyber-preparedness, and potentially to take steps to prepare for such an outcome.
Which is good. As experts caution, just because you think you’re too small to be a target, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Even with the increased awareness, however, when it comes to being prepared for a cyberattack, small businesses are only half-way there. According to the survey, 50.17% of respondents said they were fully prepared for such a scenario, while 35.33% said they were moderately so, and 14.50% were completely unprepared.
“Cyberattacks pose a serious threat to businesses nationwide. Our survey confirms the heightened fears that small business owners and executives are feeling right now regarding their companies’ cybersecurity,” said Provident Bank President and CEO Anthony Labozzetta in a statement. “In light of the current climate, all businesses, small and large, should consider taking measures to address cybersecurity in their business plans.”
According to the survey, the results of which were released April 5, a majority of respondents (69.5%) said that their business continuity plan does in fact cover what could happen in the event of a cyberattack or cybersecurity breach.
And that’s a reality that some businesses reported they’re already dealing with. Provident’s survey found 56.67% of participants said they had experienced at least one cybersecurity attack in the past 12 months, and 27% of those respondents had been hit by more than three such incidents.
How are businesses keeping customer data safe?
Provident Bank found that 61% use secure WiFi; 54.8% use anti-virus software; and 49.67% back up all data.
As for the effects of those attacks, increased IT costs were cited by most respondents (41.67%), with loss of productivity (34.83%) following. Other impacts included fines (25.83%), damaged reputation (25.83%), legal issue (25.33%), lost revenue/lost business (25.17%) and lost intellectual property (21.33%).
Provident Bank heard from 600 c-level executives and business owners between the ages of 18 and 55 for its national cybersecurity survey; annual revenues for participating businesses ranged from $1 million to $40 million. The report is dated March 14, 2022.