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The Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack: Is Your SMB Hacker Proof?

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Cyberattacks happen every day to businesses of all sizes, not just major corporations. In fact, SMBs are just as susceptible if not more so, but you rarely hear a word about these attacks as they don’t have the name value of a “Facebook,” “U.S. Cellular,” or the “Colonial Pipeline

By now, you’ve no doubt heard all about the Colonial Pipeline data breach. If not, then welcome back from your underground bunker! (I hope you remembered to restock the canned beans and beef jerky).

In short, a group of Eastern European hackers that call themselves DarkSide, found a hole within Colonial Pipeline’s infrastructure and set up ransomware that rendered sensitive data unreadable via encryption. Imagine if your computers at work suddenly switched from English to some unknown language, and there was only one way to get it back to making sense again. But, is a ransomware attack something you should be worried about? Absolutely.

Hello, we’re Sobo and we’re just like you: Entrepreneurs that understand the many challenges that lay in front of startups; we’ve been there, done that, and learned a ton on the way and we’re here to help you.

Should SMBs and Startups Be Concerned?

With very few exceptions, entrepreneurs know all about the anxiety that comes from starting their own business. This is especially true with small business startups. As you know, being a small-business head honcho is a steady grind. You’ll have competitors come and go; some formidable, some not so. However, let’s say you’ve found your niche, and made it past the “five-year ditch” – where 70% of small business startups fail. Well, if you’ve made it to year six, you deserve praise and congratulations because you, my friend, have certainly earned it. But your proven, sustainable success is even more reason to take the necessary precautions to help prevent a data breach. How much do you have set aside in the catastrophic event of an infrastructure breach with ransomware or some other cybersecurity threat? 

How To Protect Your SMB From Hackers

Unfortunately, there isn’t an official playbook for cybercriminals. Most cyberattacks play out like a digital abduction. Hackers render your business inoperable as they push you out of control and slam a lock down on your operations. The kicker is, they’re the only ones that have the key for you to return to normalcy. Sure, many large-scale companies employ ethical hackers to test the potential for cyber breaches within your company’s infrastructure, but this is just not a financially viable option for most SMBs.

SMBs can’t afford to be reactive with a data breach; they must be proactive.

One thing to keep in mind with security breaches is that it’s not just the potential loss of revenue while your infrastructure is taken hostage, think about the reputation hit, the damage done to your brand, the potential loss of trust from your clients. Regardless of the potential terminal fallout for many businesses, far too many SMBs put the threat of a cyberattack out of sight and out of mind.

Why You Don’t Hear Much about SMB Cyberattacks

Granted, a ransomware attack of the Colonial Pipeline’s scale isn’t likely to happen to your SMB. The reason for this is purely financial. There aren’t many businesses that can cough up $5M in ransom money. It can be difficult to learn from any security missteps Colonial may have had leading up to last week’s breach. It’s purely speculation at this point as to how DarkSide was able to gain admittance. Likely, it was through an oversight in remote management and file-sharing servers. For elite hackers, only the tiniest of pinholes are needed to implement a full data breach.

Don’t let all of your hard work, your blood, sweat, and tears come to a crashing halt because you don’t think a cybersecurity breach will happen to you.

Ransomware attacks happen all of the time, to businesses of all sizes, and no one is safe.  What $5M is to Colonial, $50K could be to your startup, and as nearly every startup financier will tell you, the cost of a breach—not to mention the actual ransom should that be the case—is enough to shutter the windows on just about any SMB.  Although your company likely doesn’t have a physical pipeline pumping billions of dollars of crude oil per day, your business most certainly does have a limit to how much money it can lose, especially when the cash flow ceases for a period of time. With the country still impacted by the Pandemic, many SMBs are still dropping like flies. There’s never a good time for a security breach, but now could be the absolute worst time.

But all is not lost. There are measures you can take to protect your business, your client’s sensitive data, and the financial well-being of your family. Let Sobo optimize your business by not just managing your cybersecurity, but by providing the right advice from proven strategies that we used ourselves when we were a small startup.

Sobo helps SMBs, because we are an SMB. We know what it takes to fuel success.

Sobo is the Solution for SMB Anxiety Relief

Sobo is a collection of some of the brightest business advisors in the industry you can find but priced with an SMB budget in mind. We can take care of the cybersecurity threats with our managed services, but this is not the only thing we excel at. We help SMBs reach sustainable, financial success with proven strategies for smart business—starting with our Five Pillars to Business Success.

  • Technology
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Get started today with a no-obligation one-on-one consultation with one of our Business Success Experts. Sobo is here for you and your success is our success so let’s toast to both! Call us today at 404-633-6633, send us an email at

Take advantage of our 100 combined years of industry experience.

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