Software Development
Apps / Cybersecurity

Do you know your business’s cybersecurity risk?

A small Maryland cyber firm's forthcoming app hopes to prevent small businesses from going under from ransomware attacks. It sits among a trove of data that prevention is worth much more than the cure.

Cybersecurity, as easy as one click. (Photo by Pixabay via Pexels)

Ransomware attacks have shut down the Maryland state health department, the Baltimore County school district and the majority of Baltimore City’s servers in just the past two years.

Is your business more secure than the local government? Could your small business survive a $1.3 million expense to hire a firm to rectify the ransomware attack like the City’s?

Omar Savory is creating a risk assessment app to tell small business what the holes are in a business’s cybersecurity, as well as the IT solutions to solve them before a company has an incident and needs to answer the million-dollar cyber threat recovery questions. The application is currently in beta, and he plans to release it for either Apple or Android in 2022 through his Owings Mills, Maryland-based cybersecurity company, Savory Technology Partners.

Until then, he’s asking companies to consider the questions above.

Omar Savory. (Courtesy photo)

“As a company, you may know, ‘Hey, I do have need for some kind of cyber protection, but I don’t know how bad I need it,'” Savory told

Costs of breaches are steep across industries, beyond local government. The Ponemon Institute, a research institute specializing in security of information assets and IT infrastructure, released its 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report looking at 537 real data breaches across 17 countries and regions and found the average total cost to be $4.24 million.

And it’s not just the big guys at risk. In 2019, Verizon’s data breach report built upon analysis of 41,686 security incidents, which included 2,013 confirmed data breaches, and noted that 43% of all breaches involved small businesses.

This was before the pandemic, when a company’s digital plans and infrastructure became as important as its plans for logistics and brick and mortar locations. As Harish Siripurapu, a CISO with Baltimore-based Think Systems, told us in August 2020: Don’t forget about raising cybersecurity awareness as s remote work continues to grow.

Still, in August 2021, a CNBC poll of small businesses found that 56% said they were not concerned about becoming the victim of a hack in the next year. A quarter of those were “not concerned at all.”

Most small businesses don’t have $4 million or even the lower estimate of $200,000 for a cyber attack, nor the budget to build out an IT department. That’s where Savory said his app will come in to offer a snapshot of cybersecurity risk. He didn’t have many details to share yet, but it’ll work like this: After a user completes a risk assessment via questionnaire, the app offers solutions and resources to address cybersecurity weaknesses and bolster the strengths — which might include Savory’s own services, but others a well. The idea is that it can be a resource to know where you have holes so you can figure out where and how to fill them.

Ignorance is bliss. That knowledge gap is where Savory wants to step in, as cyberattacks on businesses become more common.

“Even if you are hit — even if this [cyberattack] is successful — you’re going to be able to bounce back” with the right protection, he said. “You’re going to be able to make it through.”

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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