Many small and medium-sized businesses don't think they're a target for cyber crime, but unfortunately, this isn't the case.
Cyber crime has grown to become a major industry in the past ten years, and rates and attacks have increased as hackers have developed new malicious programs and techniques.
The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report reports losses due to cyber crime at $6.9 billion in 2021.
Cyber criminals seek opportunities to steal valuable data or assets and often see smaller businesses as easier targets because they are less likely to have a strong cybersecurity strategy in place.
Despite the staggering numbers, 91% of small businesses haven’t purchased cyber liability insurance, according to Forbes. There is no doubt that this is an indication of how unprepared and unaware small business owners are when it comes to dealing with security breaches.
Small Business Cyber Attacks Don’t Make the News
According to a report by Sophos, 66% of businesses were hit by ransomware in 2022. This number may seem high to someone that doesn’t work in the cybersecurity industry because only the attacks on mega-corporations make the news. Also, most business owners are inclined to keep data breaches under wraps, fearing it will damage their reputation.
Cybersecurity isn't just important for large companies, it's essential for all businesses.
How much should I invest in protecting my business from cyber attacks?
According to Statista, most companies allocate at least 12% of their IT budget to information security.
This approach might work for some companies but determining a cybersecurity budget can’t always be as simple as picking a percentage.
“Think of your budget as its own data piece informed by how much you value your data and your overall security objectives,” cybersecurity expert Brad Thies explained.
Business owners often mistakenly view a security budget as the cost of complying with regulations.
“If you’re spending only as much as it takes to check the box, you’re not thinking about your customer,” Thies said. “For product companies, everything is about the customer, and investing in security shows that you care about your customer’s data and privacy.”
Protect Your Business Reputation
Having cybersecurity measures in place not only helps to keep your business safe from cyber crime but also helps protect customer data and your business reputation.
Staying up to date on cybersecurity news and trends is also important to ensure that businesses are employing the most effective cybersecurity measures. This can be difficult if you don't have the time or expertise. Fortunately, there are companies that can implement and set up a strong cybersecurity strategy for you. You don't have to do it all on your own.
Business owners should take cybersecurity seriously. Investing in cybersecurity solutions and services can help business owners protect their data and assets.
- Consulting with a vCSO to create a cybersecurity strategy
- installing antivirus software
- encrypting sensitive information
- regularly scanning for vulnerabilities and malware
- training employees on cybersecurity best practices
- regularly backing up your sensitive information
Business owners should also consider investing in Cyber Liability Insurance to help cover any unexpected costs resulting from a cybersecurity incident. According to Sophos, businesses paid an average ransom of $812,000 to cyber criminals last year. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be stuck with the entirety of the cost.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Cyber attacks can be costly, both financially and reputationally. Preparing and taking cautionary measures is the best way to ensure your business stays safe and secure in today's cybersecurity landscape.
Take the time to understand cybersecurity and make sure your business is adequately equipped to handle any cyber threats that may come its way. Investing in cybersecurity now will save you time and money in the long run. You can run a business much more smoothly knowing you are protected.
Your business is worth protecting, so don't wait to make cybersecurity a priority. Investing in cybersecurity measures today is an investment in the future of your business.