Why Is IT Security Important to Your Small Business?
The frequency of cyberattacks on enterprises regarding IT security is on the rise, according to Prey Nation. In 2016, the attack rate was one every 40 seconds. In 2019, it is estimated that the attack rate will increase to one every 14 seconds.
A report from Digital Reality explained that companies are under obligation to keep the data of clients, customers and employees safe and secure. But why is protecting your systems and data so important?
The possible consequences that data owners face from a data breach include:
- Individual and class action lawsuits by customers, shareholders, settlement payments, legal expenses
- Government investigations and potential penalties
- Outside response teams and audits being required
- Digital investigation and forensic services
- Remodeling of information infrastructure
- Implementing new or enhanced identity theft protection services
- Identity theft insurance impacts
All these can result in the disruption of a company’s day-to-day business, which cost money. A report by IBM released in 2018 reveals that the organizational cost for data breach could start from $3.86 million to a whopping $350 million.
Rampant IT Security Breaches
No business, big or small, is safe from cyberattacks. Often, small and medium business owners question the importance of IT security, having the misconception that hackers target only large-scale businesses. However, the statistics prove that this attitude can be threatening to these establishments. Consider the following facts according to Varonis and Small Business Trends.
- As much as 43% of the web-based attacks are targeted small businesses.
- About 61% of IT security breaches in 2017 took place among businesses with less than 1,000 employees.
- An alarming 95% of the incursions are due to an error on the part of a human, not in the IT division.
- An estimated 92% of malware enter a company’s network via email. While low-level employees are often blamed for exposing a company to a threat, more than 50% of the staff at the executive level manage files with critical private information in an unsafe way.
- Only 10% of small businesses have systems to secure themselves against cyberattacks.
Threats Facing Your Business
Ransomware Attacks: With a ransomware attack the hackers, demand money before they release your sensitive data or provide a key to allow your system to function correctly again. The hackers prefer small businesses for these attacks because they know sophisticated security protocols are lacking and that a small business finds it more convenient to pay the ransom more often than large companies.
Phishing Attacks: This type of threat is often spread by opening an email or text message. Once the attacker has access to your files, your company’s user IDs and passwords can be stolen. “A business is likely to receive around nine malicious emails in a month,” according to Tech 21 Century.
Employee Devices: It is very convenient for a small business to allow employees to connect to their network using their own devices. While this may make sense financially, but it can be a disaster as far as cybersecurity is concerned. Malware from these unsecured devices can creep into your system.
App Appeal: Cyber attackers create apps that appeal to your type of business. You think that there’s an app for that. But the hackers’ real aim is to get access to your personal data.
Weak Passwords: Without any guidance, your employees most likely select passwords that are weak and can be easily breached. There are more secure ways to manage passwords, one of which is changing it regularly.
DDoS Attacks: The quality of your service can be severely compromised by these attacks which usually come in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). DDoS occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. In this form of assault, the hackers send packets of information to flood your capacity to respond. At times, service is merely slowed, but the attack can be severe enough to crash your system. While some business owners feel that this form of attack is not used very often, the attacks are still taking place with 20% targeting small businesses.
In-house Tech Expert
Awareness in combination with training and IT security measures are an effective means in keeping your business safe from cyberattacks. You can hire your own staff, purchase the necessary software and get your employees trained. However, this effort could distract you from your core business.
Specialized IT Security Firm
A more suitable solution for small and medium business operators is to hire professional services to set up your IT security system. Some of the services you will need include IT support, service desk, end-user support, business security, disaster recovery, cloud services, hardware and software provisioning, network and telecommunications, mainframe access and modernization.
How to Choose an Excellent Business IT Security Provider
Experience: Companies that have existed for a decade or more, usually are successful due to competency. Although you need the most up-to-date expertise, you also require the breadth of experience to analyze your situation for complete coverage.
Comprehensive Approach: Some services offer only partial solutions, making you open to threats. To keep your company better protected against cyberattacks, it is best to look for an IT firm that can offer all the above services, down to training for your staff. The preparation for your team can be onsite or through online mini-courses. A multidisciplinary approach necessitates a team of experts with specializations in a variety of fields.
Ongoing Updates: Because cyberattacks continue to evolve, you will need to build a long-term relationship with the company you select. The security experts should be actively engaged in seeking innovative plans to keep your data safe.
A Targeted Approach: The cybersecurity firm needs to identify your vulnerabilities to prioritize the types of possible threats for your situation. With this analysis, they can best use the resources to secure your business.
Creativity: Since each situation has many different parameters, it is essential that the firm you are working with are willing to stretch their expertise to find creative solutions to meet your needs. If the company declares that “We will look into the best way to accomplish what you need,” you can be assured that they are seeking the most up-to-date solution for your circumstance.
Excellent Testimonials: Search the website to find out what previous customers think about the IT security company’s services. These comments will illuminate you about the strength of the cyber security firm.
Now that you have more awareness about the seriousness of business IT security, you will need to take action to engage an expert firm for your own peace of mind.
We can help strengthen your IT Security system with a range of world-class solutions and services. Send us a message to learn more.