Don’t overlook the need for security and cyber protection for your small business. When it comes to running your business, you wouldn’t tack private information up on a bulletin board and leave the doors unlocked when you’re done for the day—you take steps to protect your and your clients’ assets. That’s just common sense, right?
The same should be true for all the data you store on your computers, servers, and in the cloud. Not having effective cybersecurity puts you at risk for a host of issues, including data breaches, ransomware, phishing, and malware. No matter how small your company is, these concerns shouldn’t be taken lightly; they can cost you time, money, stress, and maybe even your business.
Recent studies show that small businesses are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially phishing; one study by Symantec reported that 1 out of every 323 emails received by a business with fewer than 250 employees is a phishing email. One wrong click and your business could be in serious trouble! If that statistic isn’t enough to convince you to prioritize your cybersecurity, let’s take a look at some more.
Malware and ransomware attacks can paralyze your organization and cost you tons of money. These two types of attacks are not exactly the same; malware is any software used to gain access to your systems to steal data, damage your networks, or otherwise disrupt your flow of business, while ransomware is a type of malware that locks a specific set of data or systems until you provide a payment to the attackers.
The FBI reports approximately 4,000 ransomware attacks per day, most of which stem from phishing emails. While training your employees to recognize phishing emails is a great start, you need to consider other cybersecurity measures, like monitored IT support from a managed service provider, to protect your business. The recovery cost from a ransomware attack averaged $812,000 in 2021, and many businesses that pay a ransom still don’t recover all their lost data. Is that a price your business would be able to absorb?
While many small businesses are turning to cloud storage for their data, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still responsible for ensuring that data’s security. Nearly 45% of all data breaches happen in the cloud, meaning there’s nowhere truly safe to store your data unless you are proactive about protection.
You need someone to help you create and implement a plan for your data once it leaves your servers for the cloud. An MSP can assist you with that, as well as determine the logistics of assessing your cloud storage needs, finding the most secure options, and protecting your assets from cyberattacks and breaches.
Speaking of breaches, they are costly. Not only in the sense of paying to restore your data and installing better security but because you can lose clients who no longer have trust in your business. A breach can have a waterfall effect on your bottom line. On top of all that, the stress from dealing with a data breach can have a heavy toll on you and your employees.
The best way to handle a data breach is to prevent them from happening. Your IT services team can help you implement measures to protect your data. Having backups, installing and maintaining protection and detection software, and designing and training employees on emergency data breach protocols are just some things you can work on with an MSP to ensure the safety of your data assets.
If you become the victim of a cyberattack, your clients also become the victim. If you’re not prepared to pay for the legal and regulatory fallout of that, you could be setting your business up to fail. According to the US National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses that experience a cyber-attack go out of business within six months. Why?
Because the costs to recover their data, pay their attorneys and/or regulatory fines, and in many cases, cover the costs of personal data security for their affected clients, can be overwhelming. In addition, they lose productivity to recovery downtime, further affecting their bottom line while still having to pay employees who cannot work through no fault of their own. The expense of a cyberattack is just too much for many small businesses to bear. That’s why having a protection plan in place is so crucial for your business.
When your IT team or MSP talks to you about installing or improving cyber security measures, they aren’t trying to upsell you or persuade you into a bigger IT budget. These are critical safety protocols you should be proactively using to protect your data, whether it’s on internal servers or in the cloud. Your assets are at risk, and it’s not a matter of if, but when, you’ll be subject to a cyberattack.
If you’re ready to learn more (and sorry if we scared you!) about how a dedicated managed service provider can help you strengthen and maintain your business’s cybersecurity practices, get in touch today! There are IT professionals on hand to answer all your questions.