A few years ago I was working with a small consulting firm, and one of our up and coming salespeople left for a competitor. No big deal. It happens. But several months later, the management team noticed a disturbing trend. The company kept losing bids for new business to this very same competitor. It had happened four times in a row when finally we realized that we’d forgotten to turn off the former employee’s network access. He had been logging into our network, stealing our information, and then undercutting us.
As cybercrime reporting goes, this may be small potatoes. But it wasn’t small to this company. It illustrates a problem that plagues many small and medium-size businesses: When it comes to Internet security, a lot of people aren’t paying attention. They think they’re too small to be the target of a cyber threat.
They’re wrong. According to a recent study cited by the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, nearly 20% of all cyber attacks hit small businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Roughly 60% of small businesses close within six months of a cyber attack.
Read the full article at Forbes
George Westerman is a research scientist in the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Digital Business. He is co-author of IT Risk: Turning Business Threats Into Competitive Advantage.