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  • Writer's pictureMarco Lam

Why Small businesses should pay attention to cybersecurity

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Introduction

Cyberattacks are a growing problem for businesses of all sizes. Cybersecurity threats can have a direct impact on the bottom line and even threaten your company's existence through a ransomware attack or data breach. Small businesses need to pay close attention to cybersecurity or face the consequences.


Small businesses are the targets of over half of all cyberattacks

According to the 2019 State of Small Business Data Survey, small businesses are the targets of over half of all cyberattacks. This is because they are less prepared to defend against them. In fact, only 37% of small business owners have a cybersecurity strategy in place.


The same survey revealed that they also lack some key resources: cybersecurity training and budgeting for technology upgrades were among the top three challenges businesses faced when it came to protecting their data. These issues could be due to less money available for cybersecurity than larger businesses or just general unfamiliarity with what needs to be done (it’s not always easy for people who don’t know much about tech!).


Cyberattacks cost small businesses an average of $86,500

The average cost of a cyberattack to a small business is $86,500. This figure is derived from research conducted by the Ponemon Institute and was released in their 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis. This research also found that small businesses are at higher risk for cyberattacks than larger ones, with small businesses having a 1% chance of being hit by a cyberattack and large businesses having only 0.5%.


The larger companies have more resources available to them that can be used to protect their data and reduce the likelihood of an attack; they also have better access to legal advice when faced with such an incident, which could mean less money spent on dealing with it after it happens.


However, even though smaller companies may not have as much money or staff at their disposal (or access to legal resources), this doesn’t mean that they should be ignoring cybersecurity altogether! Good cybersecurity practices will save you money in the long run—and help keep your business afloat when disaster does strike!


Small businesses are big targets for hackers

Cyber-attacks are a growing problem for small businesses. According to the 2019 Annual Cyber Security Survey Report by Sage, almost half of small businesses in Australia have been targeted by cybercriminals.


Cybercriminals target small businesses because they know that these organisations are often less well-funded and have fewer resources than their larger counterparts. But this doesn't always mean they can get away with it—small businesses can fight back too! Here are some tips on how you can protect your business from cyber attacks:


Small businesses have a hard time finding cybersecurity talent

It's difficult to find cybersecurity talent because there is generally a shortage of qualified experts.

The skills required for a successful career in cybersecurity are challenging to learn and hard to master. Many people who have been trained in the field lack the experience or expertise needed for this demanding role, which makes them less effective than they could be at mitigating threats against their companies and organizations. Further exacerbating this problem is the fact that many professionals don't want to work in security; those who do tend not to stay long enough for their employers' needs, so it becomes a constant struggle just keep up with the demand for new hires when you're constantly having turnover rates due to low salary offers/high-stress level about job security/high likelihood of being fired if anything goes wrong (like accidentally deleting critical data).


There's a shortage of cybersecurity experts in Asia

As the demand for cybersecurity experts continues to grow in the US and Europe, Asia is experiencing a shortage of cybersecurity education programs. This is a problem for small businesses because you will have to compete with large companies that can afford to hire qualified and experienced cybersecurity experts.


Not having sufficient security can mean costly litigation

A cyberattack can cost a business a lot of money. In addition to direct losses from the hack, there are likely to be lawsuits from customers, partners, competitors and shareholders. You could also face legal action from employees or regulators. This is especially true if you're found to have acted negligently in the way that you handled cybersecurity issues beforehand.


A ransomware attack can bring your business to a halt

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to your data and threatens to keep it locked up unless you pay a ransom. As the name suggests, this particular kind of malware works by encrypting your business’s files and then demanding that you pay money in order to get them back.


Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common over the last few years with businesses across all industries experiencing them at some point or another. If ransomware gets into your network and encrypts all of your files, whether it be internally hosted documents or customer databases, there can be serious consequences for both customers and employees alike.


If you want to protect yourself from being targeted by hackers or other malicious actors who might try to hold your data for ransom, then it's important that you take cybersecurity seriously as part of running any type of small business – especially if you run an online store!


SMBs need digital protection more than ever

The importance of cybersecurity is no longer a secret. In fact, it’s something that small businesses need to pay attention to more than ever before.


If you’re running a company and don’t have a security strategy in place, now is the time to get started. A good strategy will help you put together a plan for protecting your data and property and make sure that everyone who works with IT understands how important it is.

The problem with cybersecurity isn't just that there are so many threats out there—it's also that they keep getting more sophisticated every year (and those threats can come from anywhere). That's why it's important for businesses of any size or industry type to be proactive about protecting their assets by having an effective security plan.


Businesses may pay to unlock their systems but don't expect to see an end to attacks

The FBI says ransomware attacks are on the rise, with over 4.2 million new malware samples detected in 2017. The agency also reported that from 2016 to 2017, the number of businesses affected by ransomware increased by 57%.


As you might imagine, paying a ransom to unlock your system isn't an ideal solution for any business owner. It's never guaranteed that you'll be handed back control over your systems or ever get your data back—and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity during recovery efforts.


To avoid these negative outcomes in the future and protect against other cyber threats like phishing scams and infected USB drives, here are some best practices to follow:


  1. Small businesses need to pay close attention to cybersecurity or face the consequences. Cybersecurity has become more important in recent years because of the rise of cybercrime and criminals who use ransomware as a way to extort money from their victims. Cybercrime is a growing concern, especially because it's not just big businesses that target anymore; small businesses are also getting hit by hackers and scammers looking for ways to make quick cash by stealing information from unsuspecting individuals and companies. Small businesses need a cybersecurity plan in place that includes:

  2. Training employees on proper cybersecurity practices

  3. Having backup plans in case an attack does occur (for example, having both at-home files backed up elsewhere)

  4. Having good relationships with IT providers

Conclusion

The bottom line is those small businesses need to pay close attention to cybersecurity. The stakes are too high not to. If you’re not sure where to start with your business’s digital protection, we can help. Our team of experts can evaluate your current security system and make recommendations for improvement.

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