Two attitudes to cybercrime that have to change!

There has been a large amount of discussion on why cybersecurity is important to all Organisations.    No matter your size or your focus we are all targets of cyber criminals.  The biggest and hardest thing to do is convince small and medium businesses and not for profit Organisations that cybercrime is in fact rampant in the digital world.

I often hear, we are too small to be a target, it will not happen to me and we have nothing worth stealing.   These are classic examples of the SME’s mentality when it comes to cybercrime.

Recently I came across two more reasons that SME’s are not embracing the dangers of cybercrime.

We make hammers

I was recently talking to a small hardware retailer at a networking function.   When I explained to him what we did – educate and protect Organisations against cybercrime to build business resilience – his comment was

“Why should I worry about that, all I do is sell hammers”.

This is a major flaw in the SME business world.  Organisations forget that no matter what you do, how you do it and how you make money we do it in the digital world.  Protecting your digital assets is just as important as using them for the business.

The digital world is cost effective and convenient.   We use it for everything – sales, marketing, communication, accounting.   Connecting to the digital world = target.

Being targeted because they are connected, does not seem to enter into most business minds.  We take enormous care to make sure that we cannot be robbed in the real world.   We are blazee about our digital assets.

We are all citizens of the digital world;

  • Using the digital world = target!
  • Connecting to the digital world = target!
  • Being a member of the digital world = target!

You may sell hammers, or build patios, or run electrical cable, or dig holes, we all still have systems in place that are connected to the digital world.

How do you communicate – email, social media!

How do you bill your clients – accounting package or cloud based system!

What other uses is your smart device used for – on line banking, looking for information.

Each one of those system, in today’s world – is a target.

Make sure you protect it!

Practice you recovery

If disaster struck, would you survive?

One of the largest problems as a managed services provider is that we can do everything that is required of us.   We can create disaster recovery plans, business continuity plans or install backup solutions.   We know that they will work and will protect the organisation.   But how do we prove that?

If the C level, board or management levels are not interested then it is a total waste of time.   There is an advert for a mattress company that goes “a 50% saving on a bed that is not right for you is a 100% waste of money”. The same is true of an untested disaster plan.

An untested DR plan, BC plan or backup are a total waste of time if;

  • It is not tested
  • The right systems are not included in the plans
  • No one knows what to do
  • No one is willing to invest time and money in the outcomes

Where you do not want to be.   The first and only test is when a disaster happens.   That will bring you a world of pain.

The only way to confirm that your plans are going to work is to see what happens if the systems are turned off.

Try it sometime.

It will definitely show you what you can expect in the aftermath of a cyberattack, a natural disaster or just a failed hard drive.

Managing the risk of a cyber-attack is very important to all SME’s.   If you have a digital component it is a risk to your business.   Make sure you mitigate that risk to a level that you are happy about.

Winging it and no plan are not alternatives.

There are so many stories about Organisations that did not have backup, did not have DR or BC plans, or thought that did not have to worry about digital security.

Most of them are now out of business.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

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