Do Small Businesses Need Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity for small businesses - person working on a laptop showing different security icons.

Improving your small business’s cybersecurity strategies.

Reliable cybersecurity to eliminate attacks is essential for every business, regardless of size. The subject is so popular that it has earned a standalone topic on Google News. However, small and midsize businesses don’t think much of cybersecurity. The media also perpetuates this as most digital ink is dedicated to attacking large global enterprises.

The truth is, SMBs are suffering. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), cyber-attacks are a growing concern for small businesses and the US economy. Find out more below about why hackers target small businesses and the impact of cybersecurity.

Why Cyber-hackers Go After Small Businesses

Verizon‘s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report shows that 44% of the breaches affected small and midsize businesses. The reason for the high number of security risks for startups includes:

1.      Lack of Resources and Support

Most small businesses do not have a dedicated employee specializing in following trends, implementing technologies, and staying up to date with the newest technologies to mitigate risks.

In fact, about 43% SMBs admit they have no function in their company dedicated to cyber-security.

2.      Tight Budgets

Small Businesses do not have the budgets of fortune 500 companies to implement security strategies. Most avoid spending on resources, training, and consultants by ignoring the latest updates and patches, leaving their systems vulnerable to attacks.

Fortunately, there are low-cost options to start building the foundation that doesn’t break the bank.

3.      Inadequate Employee Training

Your employees are your greatest asset for your business and also the greatest cyber security vulnerability. Hackers know how to penetrate the weakest links on the networks. Employees can unknowingly download malicious content from the web or fail to secure their login credentials.

4.      Lack of Security Policies

Anyone would avoid wasting money on audits that can be thousands of dollars, but yet this is the normal first step before reviewing their current plan with their existing IT provider. Would you take a certification exam before studying and reviewing the material?

It is best to review your policies and implement a low-cost option first for a better audit report. It’s better than paying for the audit out of the gate.

5.      Security Vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals are looking for easy targets, and a vast majority of small businesses don’t prioritize cyber security.  The problem is it makes them easy targets. Think of a cybercriminal as someone going door to door and turning the handle of your home during the day. The first door that opens is their next target.

A simple lock on the door would deter this threat and send them on to the next house. There are strategies to build your defense against these thieves. Your strategy can be reviewed periodically as your business continues to grow and also when you afford other strategies that will mitigate the risks of cybercriminals

Impact of Cyber-Attack on Your Business

A successful cyber-attack can have significant repercussions on your business. It will affect your bottom line, your business standing, and the trust of customers. Here are some of the major impacts of security breaches:

  • Business downtime: Reduced productivity due to lost employee time in dealing with the situation
  • Reputational damage: Tarnished business image caused by a breach and possible exposure of customer information (credentials, personal information, etc.)
  • Loss of finances: Financial repercussions of hiring experts to repair everything and hopefully recover everything.
  • Legal consequences of a cyber breach: Every business must comply with data protection and laws for the customer data they hold. Failure to deploy appropriate security measures to keep their data safe can lead to fines and regulatory sanctions.

Looking Ahead

Studies estimate cyber-attacks led to cause $6 trillion in damages to SMBs in 2021.  Most of these company operations are lean, and those that ignore the need for robust cybersecurity can easily fall prey. Getting economical and efficient cybersecurity is possible, even without an established full-blown IT department.

Over the next month, we will be discussing different vendors that provide low-cost software to implement in your environment to fill the gaps in your business security strategy. Be sure to check back as we review how these products work.  If you want to learn more about our services and improve your cyber security strategy, contact SystemsNet today.

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