Why Small Businesses Need to Take Cybersecurity Seriously
Defend Your Business from Cyberattacks
Every business owner is aware of the power of the internet; it can collect materials, dispense products, and get people paid in only a few clicks. There are more platforms than ever, and business owners can use them to spread PR, make business deals, and promote messaging. Small and medium business owners should be aware of their presence on the internet since growth demands public interest.
That same public interest drives sales and may also attract unwanted attention. Unwanted attention can result in review bombings, social media attacks, and cyberattacks. Cyberattacks are an enormous risk for the business owner, arguably far more dangerous than review bombings or social media arguments.
Cybersecurity is not a common topic for small business owners—after all, hackers only target big businesses or corporations, right? That’s a common misconception about hackers and their goals. For example, in 2019, almost half of all data breaches occurred from small businesses; worse, those victims also lost an average of $3 million per cyberattack.
Business owners can protect themselves if attackers seek personal information or more significant resources. Business owners who arm themselves with knowledge about the threats they face, and take proactive steps, will be well served.
Why Cybersecurity Matters for Small Businesses
Cybersecurity matters to a small business for countless reasons; we can put most of them into two categories: direct information protection and non-data benefits. All business owners should consider working with professionals in this respect—they can provide all these features and more.
Direct information protection is cybersecurity’s bread and butter. At the bare minimum, every business should have consumer-level protection; this doesn’t mean that this low-level software is the best option or even worth the costs. Imagine a data breach, and the business closed six months later. That’s a reality for many victims of cyberattacks—don’t let optimism bias close your doors too.
Non-data benefits, on the other hand, are a byproduct of excellent cybersecurity. These benefits should be more than “24-hour customer service,” …woo? Good security programs have more than pithy slogans. Here are some of the basic benefits a good security software would provide any business owner:
- Reduces downtime: good security will stop an attack before it happens.
- Improved productivity: security should never hinder production.
- Immediate response times: 24/7 is great unless no one answers.
- Saves tons of money: 51% of small business owners pay the ransomware.
- It gives everyone a sense of security: data breaches aren’t an issue.
What Makes Your Small Business a Target for Hackers?
Two facts make a small business a target for hackers.
- Forty-seven percent of small businesses have no cybersecurity budget. This high percentage means that many small businesses have no chance of an attack. Hackers often stalk their targets before attacking—they aim for data breaches.
- Fifty-six percent of small business owners aren’t worried about being attacked. This is that optimism bias you read about earlier. Small businesses will always be a target for cyberattacks; the question with these topics is never “if” but “when.”
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The two stats above contribute to every hacker’s consideration when choosing a victim. It is easy to pick another target when almost half the options are valid. What makes your small business a target for hackers? The general acceptance that small companies don’t need security; this mentality turns everyone into possible victims.
How Can Small Businesses Prevent a Data Breach?
Preventing a data breach can be as easy as hiring professionals—but what if you don’t have the budget (47%)? There are many alternative ways small businesses can prepare for a data breach; professionals could write many articles on it. We, however, have two suggestions for the small business owner:
- Explore your options: do you know indefinitely that the budget won’t fit a cybersecurity bill? It would be cheaper overall in the case of an attack.
- Train your employees: everyone likes to think the best of their employees, but do they know to keep your business safe? Password security and social media policies are some of the most important things a company can implement overnight. Give further training, and employees can avoid many attacks.
What are Other Cyber Threats for your Small Business?
Not all cyber threats are treated the same in security. Nor should they be—some cyber threats implement more intense data breaches, and others may hijack resources. These are some of the most common cyber threats every small business owner face in a day:
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- Phishing or dropping viruses into networks through link clicks
- Ransomware or data being held hostage for money
- Malvertising or tricking a person into clicking on a corrupted ad
- Clickjacking or hiding tracking links inside of hyperlinks
- Drive-by downloads or malware auto-downloads
- Software vulnerabilities and access points
Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks, and Find Growth in Other Areas
The best way for any small business to deal with cyber threats is to employ a solid cybersecurity defense program. A good program will do more than protect the important stuff; it will also oversee any business financial transactions, and some use specialized website browsing features.
The right cybersecurity program should help business owners in all work areas. This includes boosting productivity through ease of use, increasing employee security, and maintaining the corporate reputation. A third of small business owners rely on free or customer-grade cybersecurity, which will not cut it for long-term or significant protection.