In today’s #MnSmallBusinessHighlight, I talk with Shubh Sharma of Binary Techs. Shubh is a fellow graduate of NDSU (my alma mater!)  Shubh is a cyber security professional right here in the Twin Cities.

Beth Riegger 0:00
Hi, everybody.

I’m Beth Riegger, from keys to success, and I’m introducing you to some of my fellow business owners to help them get the word out about their businesses, as well as help you learn about them. Today, I’d like you to meet Shubh Sharma of Binary Techs. Shub is a graduate of NDSU

Go Bison!

Binary Techs is a cyber security firm. And what I really like about Shubh is he tailors each plan according to the business’s needs. So it’s not a one size fits all at all. Um, thanks for joining me Shubh Let’s talk cybersecurity.

Shubh Sharma 0:42
Thank you for having me here. I’m glad to be here. So yeah, let’s talk cybersecurity. I mean, it’s a hot topic, a hot commodity in the market today. And surprisingly, enough, small businesses are the biggest target right now since cybersecurity, or I should say since COVID hit. From the latest stats that I have checked, the increase in hacks have gone up by 300%. Since February of this year.

Oh my gosh!

Yeah. 300%.

Beth Riegger 1:16
That’s insane.

Shubh Sharma 1:17
Yep. That I mean, it is as sad as it sounds. And as much as small businesses are struggling, this is one more thing you need to worry about now.

Beth Riegger 1:26
Yeah. What are small businesses need to do to protect themselves?

Shubh Sharma 1:31
Well, the biggest thing is that the mindset that I’m trying to change with everybody is cybersecurity. And, you know, specific security related technology solutions are no longer a luxury item. You know, a lot of small businesses will think that, oh, I don’t need it, or I will not be the I will not be that one person who will get hacked, or I have my things in place, and I have everything in place. But the reality is that it’s no longer a matter of IF it will happen to you. It’s rather WHEN it will happen to you.

Beth Riegger 2:04
There’s just downright scary.

Shubh Sharma 2:07
And there was a study by University of Maryland, I think, earlier this year, April-ish timeframe, where they said a hack happens in United States every 39 seconds.

Beth Riegger 2:20
Okay, let’s repeat that one more time.

Shubh Sharma 2:22
Yeah, absolutely. So any small business that is, you know, that will be listening and tuning into this, every hack happens, Or a hack happens every 39 seconds in the United States!

Beth Riegger 2:36
Wow. Um, one of the things that we talked about earlier was the average cost of an attack.

Shubh Sharma 2:44
Oh, absolutely. So, so I broke it down into two pieces now. Right. So, the the price, right, we were talking about the pricing about it. So I broke it down into two pricings. Number one is that it is surprising. And it was like kind of a scary amount for myself, on an average $17,700 are spent, or is lost every minute because of a phishing attack.

Beth Riegger 3:10
$17,000 every minute.

Shubh Sharma 3:13
Yeah. Wow. And that’s an average cost. So it could be less, it could be more, it usually tends to be on the higher side. But that’s one part of the financial the second part, which is like really scary. The average ransomware cost is in the ballpark of $200,000- $250,000. Now, I don’t know about other small businesses, but I can tell you, I don’t have that kind of money sitting around in the bank.

Beth Riegger 3:44
Neither do I,

Shubh Sharma 3:46
right. And so as an average business owner, as an average small business owner, trying to make sure that our business is running, and they’re able to make ends meet and making things successful for us. $200,000 is a big amount.

Beth Riegger 4:02
It’s a huge number.

Shubh Sharma 4:03
Yes, it is. And the worst thing is that a lot of small business owners like me all function on like, like a basis of trust and working closely with people that we know, you know, kids or friends are working in the office for like small things, or they are helping on the weekends or things like that. And that is a key portion that the hackers work towards. 95% of the hacking attacks that have happened were due to an human error.

Beth Riegger 4:39
Wow, just in what, what kind of human errors can happen?

Shubh Sharma 4:44
For example, and this is one of the personal story for one of my clients. They had an elderly gentleman working in their back office working on their accounting items and the hackers sent an email to them that was branded so much so like their local bank that you cannot like distinguish between if it is an actual email or an hacking email. And the the the gentleman clicked on that email. And sure enough, it did look very, very real. And sure enough, they got hacked. And they were not my client back then. But that is how we got into touch. Like I helped them get their systems back into place and help them save as much money as they could, the initial amount of money that they lost, they were able to get it back through their insurance. And it was a lot of issues and a lot of hassle that they have to go through. They had to change their bank accounts, their credit cards, debit cards, everything.

Beth Riegger 5:52

Shubh Sharma 5:53
And even after doing all this, they still lost $30,000 which was not recoverable, you couldn’t recover that.

Beth Riegger 6:01
And let’s just be clear, most business owners don’t have $30,000, either, much less $200,000. So

Shubh Sharma 6:08

Beth Riegger 6:10
If there’s one piece of advice, one thing that you can give small business owners advice on to help protect themselves, besides call you. What would you tell them?

Shubh Sharma 6:24
The biggest advice I would say, and I always say to give it to my clients, trust your gut. If something doesn’t look right, don’t open it. Why not? Just delete it. If if you’re getting an email, which looks like a bank email, and you’re not sure delete it, if you get a package email from USPS, or UPS or FedEx or something, but you’re not so sure, or you don’t remember about any package being ordered or being sent to you, delete it. The worst that can happen in that case, is either the bank would reach out to your cell phone directly, or your office or your business line directly, or the shipper is gonna email you or call you saying that your package was not delivered, but you are going to be so much more safe.

Beth Riegger 7:15
That’s, that’s pretty powerful. Because we’ve all we’ve all got that little voice inside our head that,

Shubh Sharma 7:21

Beth Riegger 7:22
that tells us danger, danger, and we don’t listen to it sometimes. So. And what I really want to express is the ability of these hackers to make these emails look just like your bank, just like Amazon, just like, PayPal, all of those things. You can be smart and still get hacked.

Shubh Sharma 7:50
Yes. And I’m in the industry, right? I’m like, I’m working in that industry, I’m working with individuals, and there is multiple times that I get email. And if I do not have the right tools in place, you know, it’s like muscle memory, right? In a in an order of sequence. When you’re checking your email and you look into an email, you’re there’s a huge probability, you’re just going to click it.

Beth Riegger 8:13

Shubh Sharma 8:14
And if you don’t have the right tools in place, you’re going to click it and then you’re compromised. Yeah, so my muscle memory has been now trained in such a way that when I get the email or text or something, I always look for those telltale signs, right? I can say that, should I open it or not? So, again, going back to that, you know, check gut feeling what your gut says, go with that. And number two, take a moment to like actually go through the email.

Beth Riegger 8:46

Shubh Sharma 8:47
Especially like who who is it been sent from? Mm hmm. So like, for example, and not to like pick on a brand or anything but an individual got an email from Wells Fargo. And how they did this was they said So Wells Fargo, they would never send an email like that. Now, luckily, they were going through that I had a conversation with them in the past and they just looked at the sender address and they they just deleted the email right

Beth Riegger 9:19
That’s amazing. Well, um, I think everybody’s gonna want to call you now.

Shubh Sharma 9:25
Well, I really hope so. To help everybody I can.

Beth Riegger 9:28
Awesome. So if people want to get ahold of you, where can they find you?

Shubh Sharma 9:33
So the easiest way would be to go to my website, You have all options there to drop in your information through a contact page, or going through the social media, everything, otherwise I will pass that information as needed or find me on Facebook and I’ll be more than happy to help there as well.

Beth Riegger 9:55
Awesome, and have no fear everyone, I will make sure to put the address in the notes or comments below wherever you happen to be watching this. And thank you so much for your time today. Shubh I’m so happy we found each other fellow Bisonites uniting via zoom.

Shubh Sharma 10:14
It’s awesome, even though we’re in the same city, but thank you for having me. And you know, this, this is great. I mean, this is a great, I would say an outlet for other business owners to see like what’s out there and how they can rely on each other and kind of, you know, we are all in this together, right. So going forward in the right direction and helping each other out. So I’m really glad you’re doing this. And thank you for having me here. Thanks, Beth.

Beth Riegger 10:40
If you are watching this, and you are a business owner, and you’d like me to highlight you, please reach out to me. Like I said, I’m posting this all over the place. Reach out to me wherever you’re watching this and I’d love to highlight you as well. Thanks again Shubh. And thanks, everybody for watching and have a great day.

Shubh Sharma 10:57
Thank you.

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