Safeguarding Small Business Saturday: Cybersecurity Tips for Vermont Small Businesses and Manufacturers

November 25 is Small Business Saturday! It’s more than just a day; it’s an opportunity for communities to rally behind the local entrepreneurs and artisans that define their culture. 

This is particularly true in Vermont, where Yankee ingenuity meets creativity to produce unparalleled products. Vermont’s small and mid-sized manufacturers continue to be the craftspeople at the heart of our state’s economy and supporting them on Small Business Saturday is essential! 

Supporting Small Businesses in the Digital Age

The outlook for small business across the US is strong! But with growth comes higher needs to invest in small businesses and for small businesses to invest in themselves. One of the crucial ways to do this is to ensure strong cybersecurity. In fact, as larger companies double down on cybersecurity, cyber criminals have increased their targets on small businesses. 

Here are some alarming statistics:

  • Small businesses receive the highest rate of targeted malicious emails at one in 323.
  • Employees of small businesses experience 350% more social engineering attacks than those at larger enterprises.
  • 37% of companies hit by ransomware had fewer than 100 employees.
  • In 2020 alone, there were over 700,000 attacks against small businesses, totaling $2.8 billion in damages.
  • 95% of cybersecurity incidents at small manufacturing businesses cost between $826 and $653,587.
  • 55% of people in the U.S. would be less likely to continue doing business with companies that are breached.
  • Nearly 40% of small businesses reported they lost crucial data as a result of an attack.
  • 51% of small businesses that fall victim to ransomware pay the money.
  • 59% of small business owners with no cybersecurity measures in place believe their business is too small to be attacked.

Source: 35 Alarming Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics for 2023

Shielding Your Business: Simple Steps to Start Today

Start with the basics today. Some simple steps are outlined below: 

  1. Evaluate your risks and create a plan. Evaluate your risks, create a plan to deal with cyberattacks and communicate that plan to your team. Part of this is creating a formalized cybersecurity policy. If you don’t have one, VMEC can help you create one! 
  2. Use free cybersecurity tools and resources.  Check out this valuable US Government link here.
  3. Regularly backup essential data.
  4. Train your team. Do you have regular training for your team? If not, start today and ensure they understand how to identify phishing scams, use links with caution and understand how to keep critical data secure. 95% of cyberattacks are attributed to human error – help your team mitigate these risks!
  5. Ensure your internet connection is safeguarded. One simple step is to hide your Wi-Fi network and set your router so that it does not broadcast your network name.
  6. Educate yourself on common threats like Malware, Viruses, Ransomware and Spyware. 

Recognizing When to Seek Assistance

Every business online should foster a security-centric culture. If you’re unsure about the cybersecurity landscape or have faced threats, it’s time to get some support.

How VMEC Can Help

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the manufacturing industry is the second most targeted industry based on the number of reported cyber-attacks. Strengthening your strategy here directly protects your bottom line.

VMEC Cybersecurity and Supply Chain services aim to provide resources and assistance to help Vermont manufacturers take action to protect their business from cybersecurity threats. We also help Vermont manufacturers evaluate the risks and opportunities associated with the supply chain.

We are partnering with The Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) to provide resources and assistance to help Vermont manufacturers take action to protect their business. From drafting a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to facilitating employee training, we are here to support you every step of the way!  

NUARI provides cyber exercises, secure network monitoring, custom consulting, research, and education on critical national security issues. Comprised of subject matter experts and academic scholars, they work to serve the national public interest through interdisciplinary study of critical national security issues resulting in the rapid deployment of strategies and technologies. 

Reach out to us for a personalized approach to your cybersecurity needs and ensure your business remains resilient against the evolving digital threats. Let’s champion Small Business Saturday together!