It's going to cost you

$400 billion. That's the amount of money London-based insurance company Lloyd's estimates businesses spent in 2015 to combat the effects of cyberattacks, which includes direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, according to also reports Microsoft has estimated 20 percent of small- to mid-sized businesses have been cybercrime targets. This, of course, includes roofing companies.

Cybersecurity firm Symantec, Mountain View, Calif., says cyberthieves increasingly have been targeting small businesses during the past four years. Cyber-hackers view small businesses as soft, easy marks versus big blue chip companies, which have ramped up their cyber firewalls, according to

In addition, reports 43 percent of cyberattacks worldwide in 2015 were against small businesses with fewer than 250 workers.

In "Stay safe in cyberspace," cybersecurity expert Steve Fox discusses ways you can help protect your business from a cyberattack and details how your systems can be compromised.

His advice should be heeded. According to The Economist, the average time between an attacker breaching a network and its owner noticing the intrusion is 205 days. However, you must be careful when implementing software to guard against attacks.

The Economist cautions: "The worst products may appear to work perfectly but do nothing against the real threats. Antivirus software, for example, can do a splendid job against old malevolent software but fail to spot new versions (especially because those who invent malware fine-tune it to evade existing defenses). And they defend against only one kind of attack. Other products do such a good job in spotting possible mischief that they create a plethora of false alarms. Keeping up-to-date is hard—malefactors who spot weaknesses quickly sell or share their knowledge."

So what can you do? Fox suggests several options, which include educating employees and hiring a reputable firm to help you make sure your systems are appropriately protected and upgraded frequently. This expense, unfortunately, has become a reality of doing business in an interconnected world.

Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.


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