Think Your Startup is too Small to be Hacked? Think Again.

By Joshua Lawton-Belous

Entrepreneurs don’t rise and shine, they rise and grind. And for good reason. Starting from nothing and building to something is fraught with risks that run the gamut of “Do I have enough cash to get me to my next major milestone and until I complete my next raise?” to “Will one of my large whale competitors knock me out of business?” Yet there’s a larger risk out there lurking under the surface ready to sink an entrepreneur’s dreams: a successful cyber attack. 

As a four-time founder, I have to admit, this risk wasn’t even on my radar. I was consumed with all of the other risks out there. But that’s because I thought that as a small business I wasn’t an attractive target for cyber criminals. Unfortunately nothing is further from the truth, because according to a recent study by Verizon “43 percent of all cyber-attacks target small businesses.”

But, I get it. I don’t just hear the old me’s grumbles of how much I already have to worry about as a founder, I also hear the grumbles today from entrepreneurs when I’m either doing due diligence to determine if I want to invest in them or mentoring startup founders. Here’s the thing though, sure there are a ton of risks out there. We know that 95% of all startups fail within 5 years. However, according to many sources, a successful cyber attack can cause massive damage to a small business or even force it to close in less than a year. So let’s be honest, would you rather go out of business because of a successful cyber attack or head on over to the Global Cyber Alliance’s cybersecurity toolkit for small business and take a day to protect yourself at no cost?

I know which option a successful entrepreneur would choose.

The author, Joshua Lawton-Belous, is the Global Business Officer for the Global Cyber Alliance. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.