Cyber security is huge threat for small businesses

Cyber security is huge threat for small businesses

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

By 2021, security breaches will estimate $6 trillion a year, according to the FBI.

That number is double what it was in 2015.

The biggest victims of these cybercrimes: Small businesses. 

Amy Marquez, with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, said this growing threat is why they held a security workshop Thursday.

"They don't target big businesses or 500-employee plus businesses. The majority of our members are small businesses with under 50 employees, and so we really wanted to educate them on the possibility that they could be liable or targets for this type of action," Marquez said.

While cybercrimes continue to rise each year, James Smith, a technology consultant for West Texas small businesses, said breaches are mostly invisible because of where they are done. 

"Small businesses probably don't think about the exposure they have with their endpoint devices, like their desktop printers and PCs," Smith said.

This is why Smith said small businesses cannot afford to say 'that won't happen to us.'

"The last thing they want to do is spend money, and we understand that, but just by doing a little bit of research and investing in some of the new technology that's out there, they can save themselves a lot of money," Smith said.

Smith added it is also often the difference in keeping the doors open.

"The stat is that 60 percent of small businesses that have had a breach are out of business within six months after that breach," Smith said.

Last year, cyber attacks cost small businesses an average of $2.5 million, according to the FBI, yet 90 percent of these businesses continue to go without data protection. 

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