Jeremy Grant, an adviser at the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, says in the past two years he has seen "a relatively sharp increase in hackers and adversaries targeting small businesses." According to Symantec, cyberattacks on small businesses rose 300 percent in 2012 from the previous year (http://www.inc.com/jana-kasperkevic/cyber-spies-target-small-businesses.html).
According to the Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ocpl/resources/13493):
- The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
- The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.
- The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982.
- Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.
If you are a small business owner then, you should take action today. To begin with, visit SBA’s Cybersecurity for Small Business (http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/cybersecurity-small-businesses). This self-paced training exercise provides an introduction to securing your information. Topics include: Defining cybersecurity; Explaining the importance of securing information through best cybersecurity practices; Identifying types of information that should be secured; Identifying the types of cyber threats; Defining risk management; and Listing best practices for guarding against cyber threats. You should also create your own cyber planning guide by visiting the FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0 (http://www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner). Use this tool to create and save a custom cyber security plan for your company, choosing from a menu of expert advice to address your specific business needs and concerns.
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