Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting digital assets, such as computer systems, networks, and data, from unauthorized access, theft, damage, or disruption.
This involves implementing a range of measures, including technological solutions, policies, and best practices, to safeguard sensitive information and maintain digital systems’ confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
For small businesses, cybersecurity is of utmost importance.
Small businesses often face unique challenges compared to their larger counterparts, such as limited budgets, fewer IT resources, and a perceived lack of vulnerability.
However, these factors can make small businesses prime targets for cybercriminals, as they are often easier to breach.
A successful cyber attack can devastate a small business, leading to financial loss, reputational damage, and potential legal ramifications.
Cybersecurity Threats to Small Businesses
Types of Cyber Attacks
Small businesses can be targeted by a variety of cyber attacks, including:
Phishing: Deceptive emails or websites aimed at tricking users into revealing sensitive information or credentials.
Ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts files or systems, demanding a ransom to restore access.
Malware: Malicious software designed to infiltrate, damage, or disrupt a computer system.
DDoS Attacks: Distributed denial-of-service attacks that overwhelm a target’s network, resulting in service disruptions.
Data Breaches: Unauthorized access to sensitive information, such as customer data, financial information, or intellectual property.
Examples of Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses
Several high-profile cyber attacks on small businesses have highlighted the growing threat:
In 2017, a small medical practice in the U.S. was hit with a ransomware attack that encrypted all its patient data. Unable to recover the files or afford the ransom, the practice was forced to close its doors permanently.
A family-owned manufacturing company was targeted in a phishing attack in 2018, leading to the theft of $1.2 million from their corporate bank account.
A local bakery experienced a data breach in 2020, resulting in the compromise of credit card information for thousands of customers.
Consequences of Cyber Attacks
The consequences of a successful cyber attack on a small business can be severe:
Financial Loss: Direct costs, such as ransom payments or loss of funds, and indirect costs, like system repairs and increased insurance premiums.
Reputational Damage: Loss of customer trust and damage to the business’s reputation can lead to reduced sales and client attrition.
Operational Disruption: Downtime and reduced productivity due to system unavailability or data loss.
Legal Ramifications: Potential legal action and regulatory fines due to negligence or failure to comply with data protection regulations.
How to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks
Best Practices for Cybersecurity
Implementing cybersecurity best practices can help protect your small business from cyber threats:
Regularly Update Software: Keep software, operating systems, and firmware up to date to reduce vulnerabilities.
Install Security Software: Utilize antivirus and anti-malware software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to protect your network and devices.
Backup Data: Regularly back up data to ensure that important information can be recovered in case of a breach or system failure.
Limit Access: Implement access controls and role-based permissions to ensure that employees only have access to the information and systems necessary for their job functions.
Use Strong Passwords: Encourage employees to create strong, unique passwords and consider implementing multi-factor authentication for added security.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks: Ensure that your business’s Wi-Fi network is secured and encrypted, and consider setting up a separate network for guests.
Monitor and Manage Devices: Keep an inventory of all devices connected to your network, and ensure they are secure and updated.
(Learn how you can ReThink Cybersecurity and Easily Secure Networks & IoT Devices with guardDog AI. guardDog.ai can terminate an attack in milliseconds – before they gain access. Courtesy of guardDog and YouTube.)
Tools and Resources for Cybersecurity
There are various tools and resources available to small businesses to help bolster cybersecurity:
Cybersecurity Frameworks: The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides guidelines and best practices for managing cybersecurity risks.
(Learn more about why organizations of all sizes and types should use NIST’s voluntary Cybersecurity Framework based on existing standards, guidelines, and best practices. Created through collaboration between industry, academia, and government, the flexible Framework helps organizations manage their cybersecurity-related risk. Courtesy of The National Institute of Standards and Technology and YouTube.)
Managed Security Services: Outsourcing cybersecurity management to a third-party provider can help small businesses with limited IT resources maintain robust security.
Cyber Insurance: Consider purchasing cyber insurance to help cover the costs associated with a cyber attack or data breach.
Cybersecurity Training Platforms: Utilize online training platforms to educate employees about cybersecurity threats and best practices.
Importance of Employee Training
Employee training is a crucial component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Often, employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats, and their actions can significantly impact the security of your business.
Educating employees on recognizing phishing emails, practicing safe browsing habits, and adhering to company security policies can help reduce the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.
Regular Training Sessions: Regular cybersecurity training sessions ensure that employees remain informed about the latest threats and best practices for maintaining a secure environment. Schedule these sessions at least once a quarter, and consider inviting external experts to share their knowledge and expertise.
Simulated Cyber Attacks: By simulating real-world cyber attacks, such as phishing emails or ransomware attempts, you can help employees develop the skills necessary to recognize and respond to these threats effectively. This hands-on training can also provide valuable insights into potential vulnerabilities within your organization.
Creating a Security Culture: Foster a security-conscious culture within your organization by encouraging employees to take responsibility for their actions and report any suspicious activities or potential breaches. Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate exemplary cybersecurity practices, and ensure that management leads by example.
Addressing Remote Work Challenges: With an increasing number of employees working remotely, it is essential to adapt your cybersecurity training to address remote workers’ unique challenges. Provide guidance on securing home networks, using VPNs, and protecting company devices from unauthorized access.
(With advanced AI tools, it has become much easier for cybercriminals to carry out well-crafted social engineering campaigns like spear phishing or business email compromise. While essential, employee training can be a daunting task. But not when it can be done automatically as a continuous and effortless service – And that’s exactly what the Security Awareness Service is. Courtesy of Hornetsecurity and YouTube.)
Tailored Training Content: Customize training content to suit your organization’s employees’ needs and skill levels. For instance, training for IT staff should be more technical and in-depth, while non-technical employees may require a more general overview of cybersecurity best practices.
Regular Assessments and Feedback: Conduct regular assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of your cybersecurity training program. Gather feedback from employees, identify areas for improvement, and modify the training content accordingly to ensure that it remains relevant and engaging.
By investing in employee cybersecurity training, you not only empower your workforce to protect themselves and your organization from cyber threats, but you also demonstrate a commitment to fostering a secure and resilient business environment.
Regularly updating and enhancing your training program will keep employees informed, engaged, and prepared to tackle the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.
Recap of the Importance of Cybersecurity in Small Businesses
Cybersecurity is a critical concern for small businesses, as cyber attacks can result in significant financial loss, reputational damage, and operational disruption.
By understanding the types of threats small businesses face and implementing best practices, tools, and resources to bolster security, you can help protect your business from cybercriminals.
Call to Action
Take the necessary steps today to prioritize cybersecurity in your small business.
Assess your current security posture, implement best practices, and educate your employees to create a more resilient and secure business environment.
By investing in cybersecurity, you are safeguarding not only your digital assets but also the future of your business.
Visit ChamberofCommerce.org to learn more about small businesses and entrepreneurship today.
guardDog Takes Platinum & Gold in 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now entering it’s Eighth Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
guardDog .AI (First of Three)
Best Vulnerability Management Solution
For the first time, guardDog ai has provided the world with a cybersecurity system that is accessible to virtually everyone. It can see the risks device management solutions don’t cover and can thwart the attempted exploits it detects in less than 2 milliseconds.
guardDog.ai is a cloud-based software service plus a companion device that works together to simplify network security.
The solution exposes invisible threats on networks in ‘edge territory,’ and the devices attached to them, with patented technology to address and prevent cybersecurity threats before they compromise network environments.
guardDog’s Protective Cloud Services (PCS) is an AI-powered network security solution that doesn’t require cyber security expertise to operate.
Once activated, users’ Fido device goes to work by detecting threats and vulnerabilities on your network.
From there, the users’ cloud dashboard displays incidents by threat level and shows them information on how to resolve the issues before they become a problem.
(Learn More. Edge Territory is the invisible space between networks. For example connecting to a hotel or cafe Wi-Fi, or working from home can leave your sensitive or private data vulnerable. Any device on a network can also create openings for danger, such as a webcam or digital doorbell. guardDog makes the blind space visible. Combined with their AI-powered cloud solution, your guardDog device is always up to date, protecting you against the latest threats. With guardDog you can see the invisible threat and do something to stop it. Courtesy of Good Day Orange County and YouTube.)
guardDog Solutions (Second of Three)
Best Cyber Analytics Solution
No Cybersecurity Experience Required! guardDog.ai installation is a snap, and protection is a power light away.
Secure a home, a small office, a large enterprise, or any other organization with a cyber security management solution made easy that offers services to match the user’s needs.
How it Works: Unbox your Fido device, connect to your network, and register. From the moment the power light appears, protection begins. Fido gets to know your network and your devices.
It recognizes intruders and defends your network and devices. When someone attacks, it deploys automated countermeasures. User’s networks and devices are scanned vigilantly to protect against the known, and the unknown.
guardDog Solutions (Third of Three)
Best Threat Intelligence Solution
Coverage for “edge territory.” guardDog.ai make sit possible to detect and proactively thwart cybersecurity risks that device management can’t see – the threats in the edge territory that require an overlay that’s as simple as “plug and protect” for consumers and businesses.
It uses a cloud AI database to see and thwart attempted exploits before they can enter the network and succeed in planting virus, phishware or ransomware attempts.
The ability to thwart attempted exploits in less than 2 milliseconds. Every business, government, healthcare institution, home consumer, or other organization, is grappling to find security solutions that are adapt to this changing world. guardDog.ai is pioneering innovations that can truly meet these new and perpetual challenges.
Last year alone, there were over 12,000 new vulnerability exploits that emerged, and no human could really keep up with that.
guardDog’s ai-powered service learns about these attacks and keeps users’ Fido devices up to date.
The training never stops to prevent a crisis before it happens.
guardDog.ai has developed a cloud-based software service with a companion device that works together to simplify network security.
The solution exposes invisible threats on networks, and the devices attached to them, with patented technology to address and prevent cybersecurity threats before they compromise network environments.
*AST is delighted to welcome guardDog.ai, a 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champion, as a New Premier Awards Sponsor in the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
In addition, the continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program will highlight the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2023 and the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders. #MentorshipMatters
So be on the lookout for exciting upcoming announcements of Speakers, Presenters, Book Signing Opportunities, and Attendees at the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon in November of 2023 in New York City!
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||COVID Innovations|
|Workforce Management||Government Security Programs||And Many Others to Choose From!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homeland Security remains at the forefront of our national conversation as we experience an immigration crisis along our southern border and crime rates that are dramatically higher than before the Pandemic across the United States.
These challenges have become a national priority with an influx of investments in innovative new technologies and systems.
Enter American Security Today, the #1 publication and media platform in the Government Security and Homeland Security fields, with a circulation of over 75,000 readers and many tens of thousands more who visit our AST website at www.americansecuritytoday.com each month.
The pinnacle of the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is the Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Ceremony Luncheon Banquet, an exclusive, full-course plated meal event, in the heart of New York City.
The 2022 exclusive sold-out ‘ASTORS’ luncheon featured representatives of law enforcement, public safety, and industry leaders who came together to honor the selfless service of those who stand on the front lines and those who stand beside them – providing the capabilities and technologies to create a safer world for generations to come.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which came out in force to discuss comprehensive collaborations between private and public sectors that have led to the development of intelligence and technologies which serve to protect our nation.
The keynote address was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) Diane Sabatino, who described the changes to CBP through the tragedy of 9/11 and the relentless commitment to its mission and ongoing investment in the latest technologies and innovations to protect our borders and Homeland.
The resounding theme of the DEAC’s remarks was her pride in the women and men of the CBP and their families who support them.
AST was also joined by Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton, who spoke about his love for the City of New York, the Profession of law enforcement to which he has dedicated his life, and for which he continues to drive thought leadership and innovation.
New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Kenneth Corey, came out to address Luncheon attendees and shared some of his experiences and the changes in policing he’s witnessed over his more than three decades of service.
FDNY Chief Joseph Jardin honored the men and women of the FDNY, not only those who currently serve but all of those who have selflessly served, with special recognition of those lost on 9/11.
Chief Jardin spoke about the continuing health battle of many following 9/11 with cancer and respiratory disease, yet now knowing the full consequences, would not have made a different decision to respond.
As Chief Jardin noted, mission-driven service is the lifeblood of every firefighter, volunteer, and sworn member, and has been so throughout the history of the Fire Service.
Former head of the FBI’s active shooter program, Katherine Schweit joined AST to sign complimentary copies of her book, ‘STOP THE KILLING: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis,’ thanks to the generosity of our 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Sponsors.
The 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by NEC National Security Systems (NSS), ATI Systems, Automatic Systems of America, guardDog AI, Fortior Solutions, IPVideo Corporation, Rajant Corporation, RX Global, and SIMS Software!
We were pleased to welcome the esteemed New York City Fire Department(FDNY); the New York City Police Department(NYPD); and the NYC Hospital Police, as well as Executive Management from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency(CISA), and many other DHS agencies, Federal law enforcement agencies, and private/public partnerships such as the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), the 30×30 Initiative, a coalition of professionals advancing the representation of women in policing; and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) (rail safety advocates).
The prestigious Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program highlights the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
In 2022 over 240 distinguished guests representing Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields.
Each year, to keep our communities safe and secure, security dealers, installers, integrators, and consultants, along with corporate, government, and law enforcement/first responder practitioners, convene in New York City to network, learn and evaluate the latest technologies and solutions from premier exhibiting brands at ISC East, the Natural Disaster & Emergency Management Expo (NDEM EXPO), and the ASIS NYC Expo.
ISC East is the Northeast’s leading security & public safety event, hosted in collaboration with sponsor Security Industry Association (SIA) and in partnership with ASIS NYC.
Corporate firms, the majority of which return year to year to build upon their Legacy of Wins, include:
Advanced Detection Technologies, AMAROK, ATI Systems, Axis Communications, Automatic Systems, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., Cellbusters, CornellCookson, CyberArkFortior Solutions, guardDog.ai, Hanwha Techwin of America, High Rise Escape Systems, IPVideo Corporation, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, NEC National Security Systems, NICE Public Safety, OnSolve, PureTech Systems, Quantum Corporation, Rave Mobile Safety, Regroup Mass Notification, Robotic Assistance Devices, Rajant Corporation, SafeLogic, Select Engineering Services LLC, Singlewire Software, SolarWinds Worldwide, Teledyne FLIR, Valor Systems, and West Virginia American Access Control Systems, just to name a few!
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old-school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications
AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local levels as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
To learn more, please see the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2022 ‘A Year in Review.’
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition reviews ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
The 2022 CHAMPIONS serves as your Go-To Source through the year for ‘The Best of 2022 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today – and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware, and Networking Security – to name a few), the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also features guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders and recognized firms in the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
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