What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Cybersecurity Forty-five percent of small business owners have been attacked -- without knowing.

By Rose Leadem

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Oliver Nicolaas Ponder/EyeEm | Getty Images

From HBO to Chipotle, we often hear about major cyber attacks in the news. We rarely think, however, that we could be victims. It's time to squash that mindset.

Related: The Worst Reported Hacks of 2017 -- So Far

A recent study by Nationwide Insurance, which surveyed 1,069 small-business owners in the U.S., found that more than three-quarters of entrepreneurs think cyber attacks are unlikely to affect their businesses and 41 percent said they believe attacks most frequently happen to large businesses. That attitude is risky for these entrepreneurs, because the study also found that 45 percent of small-business owners have actually been victims of attacks -- without even knowing. Meanwhile, only 13 percent of surveyed business owners admitted to being victims of cyber attacks.

Related: What Happens When Your Small Business Is Hacked

Hacks can take many different shapes and forms, from a simple computer virus to a massive data breach -- companies are vulnerable to a number of types of cyber attacks. One way to protect your business is by hiring or appointing specific employees to monitor data security and privacy and look out for attacks. However, 57 percent of business owners reported they didn't have a dedicated employee or vendor monitoring for attacks. Not only that, only half of business owners say they have set up business practices that protect their confidential information.

For more on cybersecurity and protecting your business, check out these videos and stories below.

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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