Don Mazzella, COO and Editorial Director of Information Strategies, Inc., and Dan Perkins, registered investment advisor, both have years of experience working with and advising small business owners. They have seen how cybersecurity is becoming a great concern for everyone, especially small business owners. Recently, they took the time to talk with Rob Arnold, founder and CEO of Threat Sketch, on their radio talk show, Recalculating. The questions they raised echo the concerns of many small business owners, and Arnold provides clear-cut solutions to their concerns focused specifically on cybersecurity from a small business owners point of view.

Here are a few topics discussed during the interview:

The challenges small business face when it comes to cybersecurity.

  • First, business owners often look at cybersecurity as an IT issue, when really it is something that affects the entire business.
  • Overall, small businesses are challenged by a lack of resources. Without capital to invest in cybersecurity measures, the companies are left more vulnerable to an attack, as well as strapped for cash after an attack.
  • Making time for cybersecurity is also a challenge for small businesses. At Threat Sketch, our focus is to show why it is important, and that it’s worth both the time and money. Rather than looking at what you gain for a return on investment, instead put your focus on what you won’t lose.

What are some policies small business owners can put in place to reduce the risk of cyber attack?

  • Implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies. Personal devices are commonplace in the work environment, but are really a double-edged sword for small business. You gain productivity when your employees are available at any time, but you also increase liability if sensitive information is on these devices. Be sure to enforce good security practices, such as two-factor authentication and strong passwords.
  • Ransomware is a growing risk, and can be avoided in part through educating employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing attacks.

Budgeting for cybersecurity.

It is extremely difficult to just give a flat rate when it comes to creating a budget for cybersecurity. There is so much to take into account that is different for every business. In the book, Cybersecurity: A Business Solution, by Rob Arnold, co-founder of Threat Sketch, creating a cybersecurity budget is explained in detail. Basically, a business will back into an amount by determining first determining the risk of exposure, and then preparing for those losses. The cybersecurity budget will be anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the entire IT budget.

This blog summarizes just a few of the points discussed during the Recalculating radio interview. Click on the video below to hear the full interview between Don, Dan, and Rob, to learn more about what small business owners need to be aware of when it comes to cybersecurity, and how to be prepared.