Guest author: David Kinlaw, Practice Manager, Data Protection and Availability

Send this to a businessowner you know, because you read that right: If you suffer any kind of data loss, chances are you’ll be looking for new employment by the next Winter Olympics. This statistic is particularly relevant for SMBs, who tend to run higher risks of security breaches than their larger counterparts.

Research from Ponemon shows that 58% of IT leaders in small- to medium-sized businesses don’t see cyberattacks as a significant threat to their businesses. If that’s not startling enough, Ponemon also found that the average security incident among SMBs costs around $1.6 million to resolve—is that in your budget?

Melpomene/Bigstockphoto.com

Melpomene/Bigstockphoto.com

With the Target data breach now nearly legendary status, and the recent Heartbleed flaw, it’s time for SMBs to start taking security seriously. In the 12 months preceding this publication, one in three SMBs didn’t even know if they had suffered a security breach, and 42% said that they had experienced some kind of attack. Significantly, Ponemon found that the more senior the respondent, the less certain they were about if they had suffered a breach—meaning that those with the power to implement better security are unfortunately unaware of how serious this issue really is.

A big step towards closing this gap is implementing a disaster recovery plan, or partnering with an experienced disaster recovery provider to create a cloud-based (and surprisingly affordable) DR plan. Also consider tighter security on mobile security policies, since a lost mobile device is a leading cause of lost data. Finally, look for ways you might be able to free up time for your in-house IT resources to focus more on security, perhaps by moving more operations to secure cloud environments and/or outsourcing and automating more IT tasks.