As a small business owner, keeping up with cybersecurity may seem intimidating — or even unnecessary. Are threat actors really targeting small businesses when there are much larger fish in the sea? And is it even possible to stay on top of cybersecurity without an enterprise-level budget?
Well, there’s good news and bad news there. The bad news is that threat actors definitely target small businesses, categorized as businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees, for a variety of cybercrime: nearly a third of all data breaches from Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report involved small businesses, and 71% of small businesses experienced an increase in phishing in 2020 according to the SOES 2021 report.
Attacks can also have a more devastating impact on small businesses — with the cost of one incident averaging $7.68 million according to IBM and the Ponemon Institute’s 2020 The Cost of Insider Threats Global Report. Large and mid-size businesses may be able to swallow the recovery from an attack more easily than small businesses.
The Good News: Small Businesses Can Have Great Email Security
Most cyberattacks do not use the most high-tech tools to attempt to breach small businesses. Instead, according to the Verizon 2020 DBIR report, the most common threat to small businesses is social engineering via phishing scams. Following that are stolen password credentials and malware, which are most commonly spread via email.
Mitigating the danger of these common threats is something even small businesses can do. Rather than trying to build a patchwork cybersecurity solution from the ground up, there are turn-key secure email services that can provide a variety of cybersecurity solutions bundled together, including employee training and awareness as well as technological solutions.
Which Secure Email Services Are Worth It?
When looking for a secure email services provider, there are a number of features you should be looking for, assuming that anyone feature on its own is potentially exploitable. The most secure business emails will have multiple failsafes against common types of attacks — tools to prevent impersonation, phishing, malware, and more.
Some tools that you should look for when choosing an email cybersecurity solution include:
- Employee security training to improve awareness
- Automatic blocking of spoofed emails (emails that are faked to look like they come from a coworker or the CEO)
- Email links that open into an isolated cloud browser to prevent automatic malware downloads
- URLs inspected not only during initial delivery but on every click to help catch websites that change to a threat later
- Inspection and sandboxing of attachments
As email continues to be the primary language of business for the foreseeable future, and a major vector for threat actors, secure email is an investment that all small business owners should consider to avoid the potentially devastating cost of an attack.
Shana Aguilar is a Content Strategist at iQuanti who works to communicate the latest business and consumer tech solutions and news. She helps to translate developments across cybersecurity, SEO, finance, and more into content for general audiences.