Running a business in 2018 most commonly takes place in the digital environment. You use collaboration tools to manage projects, cloud to store sensitive information and IM tools to communicate with your employees. This means that if you allow the digital aspect of your company to be compromised, you’re practically handing it over to the hackers. From this point, they can blackmail you or simply run your business into the ground if they feel more like it. Aside from this, obvious, reason, there are six other valid points for you to invest in your SMB’s cyber security.
In 2018, there’s no one who can doubt the fact that the cybercrime is a real threat to your company’s finances. In fact, by the year 2021, it’s expected that the financial loss caused by cybercrime might reach about $6 trillion. The reason why this figure seems so hard to believe is due to the fact that it gets evenly distributed across industries and businesses not only proportionally to their business size and revenue but also according to their investment in cyber security. In other words, the money you believe you’ll save on cyber security would be merely a fraction of what you stand to lose due to a breach.
Loss of trust
The next issue you need to address is the potential loss of trust that will result from your inability to protect the data of your customers and users. The greatest problem with this particular issue is that this sort of problem might not reveal itself for years to come. The best example of this can be seen on a LinkedIn hack that occurred in 2012, which still caused problems in 2016. It took four years for the public to discover that there’s are additional 100 million email addresses and passwords that were left vulnerable by hackers.
No such thing as too small of a target
Another mistake that most small businesses make is believing that there’s such a thing as too small of a target for hackers. On the one hand, the reward of successfully hacking a major government organization or a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate is disproportionately greater than what you stand to gain from a startup or an SMB. On the other hand, smaller businesses offer a disproportionately smaller level of resistance, which creates an appealing low-risk-low-reward (or even no-risk-low-reward) scenario. Therefore, avoiding to invest in your cyber security equals painting a massive target on your back.
Costs are not that great
One of the greatest misconceptions in this niche, as well as the main reason why so many people avoid investing in cyber security, is due to the fear of the cost of such an effort. First of all, the cost depends on the arrangement that you make with the company you outsource this service too. For instance, you could get IT experts to do some cyber security testing of your business in an online environment at a relatively low cost. Once you have the rundown of all the things that are wrong with your cyber security, you can start working on each of these points individually, based on the priority level you’ve assigned to them.
The bad guys aren’t resting
Perhaps the most important reason why cyber security is a continuous effort instead of it being a one-time investment is due to the fact that bad guys aren’t resting either. Hacker practices, tools and malware are advancing at an unprecedented speed, which is why you need to keep investing in order to stay protected. Measures you take this year may be on par with their level of technology, but if you avoid innovation for long, you might find yourself at a disadvantage relatively soon.
More and more business is taking part in cloud
At the end of the day, you need to understand that most of your business, nowadays, takes place in the cloud. This means that all of your company’s sensitive data is exposed to the malicious third party with adequate skills and tools. Sure, in the past several years, cloud security was significantly improved but this still doesn’t make it 100 percent secure. Therefore, you need to make every effort imaginable in order to reach as high of a figure as you can. However, if the cost of cloud concerns you then don’t worry because cloud computing has become cheaper year over year. AWS instance pricing is very competitive with other companies so you shouldn’t be worried about pricing.
The last thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that cyber security can only get you so far. In other words, if one of your employees uses the name of their pet as the password to your corporate cloud, there is no safety measure reliable enough to protect you from an attentive hacker. This is why you need to invest as much time in tutoring your employees in the field of cyber security as you do in implementing these IT technologies.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.