Whether you run a one-person startup or a multimillion-dollar enterprise, your business is at risk for cyberattacks. As the world increasingly depends on technology to stay connected, send information and transfer money, companies face an ever-growing threat from cybercriminals. They are more sophisticated than ever, employing new resources, artificial intelligence and social engineering to thwart traditional data security methods.
If you haven’t made cybersecurity a priority for your company, now is the time. Here are four reasons to do so.
1. Some Cyberattacks Are Obscure
You may think you’ll know if someone breaches your information, but it can happen without notice. You might not discover some threats until an expert has identified and scrutinized them. Worse yet, these obscure threats can be part of a larger attack.
If you don’t have a team of cyber experts on your staff — and many businesses do not — you may consider outsourcing the task to a professional security team. They can use managed detection response, or MDR, to continuously monitor your system for threats of all sizes.
2. Small Businesses Face Greater Risks Than Before
Years ago, cybercriminals went after the biggest fish in the pond — in other words, the largest companies. A so-called “successful” data breach netted more profit for hackers than the smaller companies because they had access to more information.
Technology is now sophisticated enough that threat actors can cast a wider net, reaching small and large companies. Their techniques are more efficient and many hackers can afford to spend time going after small businesses. In fact, a small enterprise may be more appealing to them for several reasons:
- Small companies might not have in-house IT staff to monitor for threats.
- They may lack the resources to invest in cybersecurity.
- They don’t suspect that they are potential targets and are more vulnerable due to lack of protection.
If you believe no one would want to attack your sensitive information because you have a small business, now is the time to see things differently and step up your cybersecurity plan.
3. Data Breaches Cost Your Company
A cyberattack is costly. First of all, it puts a hefty financial burden on your company. It disrupts business, costing you hours of profitable work time. It steals your sensitive data, which may include customer records or proprietary information. It may breach sensitive data such as account numbers or customer records, exposing you to liability costs. You may have to pay for damaged equipment or systems.
A cyberattack can also tarnish your reputation. If consumers see your business as unsafe or unreliable, they may choose to spend their resources elsewhere.
Depending on your industry and the type of data breach you experience, your company may face regulatory sanctions or fines after a cyber attack. These expenses are disruptive to your company’s time and finances.
4. A Cyberattack Can Happen Quickly and Easily
If you knew a cyberattack was coming, it would be easier to deal with. You could have your defenses in place and warn your employees. Unfortunately, they don’t work that way. Hackers benefit from the element of surprise, catching employees off guard. They send phishing emails that appear to be legitimate requests for sensitive information. It may take only one unsuspecing worker to allow cybercriminals to access your system. Once in, hackers work quickly to install ransomware or spread viruses before you can mitigate them.
You can prepare your business for a data breach by assuming one is inevitable. Make your employees aware of spoofing and phishing emails so that they know them when they see them. Reinforce the requirement to change passwords frequently. Keep your security systems up to date to stay ahead of the game.
While every company faces a potential data breach, it doesn’t have to take down your business. Being proactive is the best defense against threat actors. If you don’t have the in-house resources you require to ensure data security, consider outsourcing the task for the best protection.