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Microsoft in Business Blogs

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Microsoft Store is committed to helping small business owners understand the dangers of cyberattacks and the actionable steps they can take to mitigate cyber threats.

Getting hacked is a scary threat, yet most small business owners don’t think they’re at risk[1] even though 61 percent[2] have suffered a cyberattack and over half[3] have had a data breach.

What’s even scarier than not knowing your business is vulnerable to a cyberattack is finding out your business has been hacked.

Identifying Vulnerabilities

Small business owners may not know the appropriate steps to protect themselves, and others may find the topic can be daunting.

This was the case for Quants Bakery, a six-employee catering and subscription-based vegan bakery in Glendora, California. Sean Etesham, CEO, started the online-based business in September 2017 after he saw a need for more vegan options at his local coffee shops. Like so many first-time small business owners who are strapped for resources, he launched the business and operated it without a dedicated IT person or cybersecurity software.

“Our worst nightmare would be if someone broke into the back end …and took all of the customer credit card information…and posted it online,” shared Sean.

Microsoft Store recently teamed up with a Microsoft cybersecurity expert to take Sean and his now CIO, Richard Idigo, through a lifelike simulation of a common phishing scam, giving them a firsthand look at the damage that can be done in mere minutes. Sean and Richard were shocked at how easily a hacker can create a false site to access passwords and compromise their data.

“I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in terms of my time and energy that could’ve been spent elsewhere,” explained Sean about starting his business. “I cashed out my retirement accounts, and my investment accounts, and put all that money towards the business.”

Any small business owner can attest that success and health of their business is of utmost importance, so addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities should be a top concern.

The simulation helped Sean to understand the type of security protections and other actions he needed to have in place to safeguard his business and avoid phishing attacks. He worked with a business solutions specialist at Microsoft Store to decide on Microsoft 365 Business as the right solution for their productivity, collaboration, and security needs.

By understanding cybersecurity risk factors, every small business owner can put an affordable, actionable plan in place to mitigate risk and save time and money it takes to recover from a breach.

Addressing Vulnerabilities

Many small business owners do not have IT departments to turn to in the case of a cybersecurity emergency. During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Microsoft Store is offering small business owners the opportunity to understand the risks of cyberattacks and will be the go-to destination for personalized guidance from in-store business solutions specialists.

If you’re a small business owner, visit Microsoft Store and online to discover cybersecurity solutions like Microsoft 365 Business that are customized for the needs of small businesses to more effectively navigate the cybersecurity landscape and mitigate cyber risks.


[1] Small Business Cybersecurity Survey, 2018 by Insureon

[2] 2017 State of Cybersecurity In Small & Medium Sized Businesses, 2017 by The Ponemon Institue

[3] SMBs Are Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks, 2016 by The Ponemon Institute