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Grow Your Business Security

Cybersecurity: 'Best of Breed' May Not Be Best for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity: 'Best of Breed' May Not Be Best for Small Businesses
Cybersecurity isn't one size fits all, especially for small businesses. / Credit: Cyber attacks image via Shutterstock

It's no secret that small businesses lack in the cybersecurity department. In fact, a recent survey by fraud detection and identity protection provider CSID found that nearly one-third of businesses with fewer than 100 employees don't take measures to protect themselves against security breaches. And hackers are catching on quickly: According to Symantec's 2014 Internet Threat Report, 30 percent of all cyberattacks last year targeted small businesses.

Why is there such a disconnect between small businesses and effective security measures? While lack of resources and time for research certainly contribute, a more concerning issue is that businesses are taking a "one-size-fits-all" approach to cybersecurity. Just because a solution is ranked as "the best" doesn't automatically mean it's right for your business' specific needs, said Natalie Lehr, co-founder and director of analytics for enterprise risk consultancy TSC Advantage. [MORE: Cybersecurity Neglected at Most Small Businesses]

"People look for the best of breed, but sometimes [those solutions] are so complex, and smaller companies don't have the resources to manage them," Lehr told Business News Daily. "When you have a best-of-breed solution, you can still have a breach. There are a lot of customizations, oversights and vulnerabilities that small businesses need to think about."

A strong data classification system gives you the best chance of addressing these potential vulnerabilities, Lehr said. Small businesses need to perform an impact assessment and prioritize their security solutions to protect their most sensitive assets. To do this, business owners actually need to know what and where that sensitive data is located. Once you've identified your specific vulnerabilities, take the time to research solutions that will address the weaknesses.

"Not every solution out there will meet your needs," Lehr noted. "Look at those that can provide tangible benefits, and make sure you're getting a good return on investment. It doesn't have to be the most expensive solution, either."

Perhaps even more important than the technology behind your cybersecurity strategy is your company's attitude toward it. The proper training and awareness can go a long way in helping you deal with and even prevent the effects of a cyberattack.

"Acknowledge that these attacks are the new norm," Lehr said. "Don't wait for an attack and become a victim. Prepare yourself ahead of time to reduce the cost of a breach."

For more information on small business cybersecurity solutions, visit our guide here.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.