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November 29, 2022

Why Small Businesses Need to Take Cybersecurity Seriously

We don’t need to tell you that security breaches have gone mainstream—your social media feed or go-to news outlet have likely alerted you to that fact. But it’s worth mentioning that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is more than double the global average of $4.35 million, IBM reports. What’s more staggering, it takes most businesses about 277 days to detect and contain a breach on their network.

These statistics are reflected in the headlines. It seems that not a week goes by without hearing the news of another cyber attack—seemingly impenetrable companies like Rockstar, Meta, Samsung, Uber, and American Airlines have all fallen victim to these cyber criminals.

Naturally, cybersecurity and IT are rising to the top of every Fortune 500 executive’s list of concerns. But, while the large-scale security breaches garner the most media attention, small and medium-sized businesses are clearly just as vulnerable. The 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found 46 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, and these companies spend an average of $25,000 in damage control in the wake of an attack.

Here's why SMB owners should take cybersecurity seriously—for the sake of their employees, their loyal customers, and the livelihood of their businesses.

SMBs’ data is incredibly valuable.

To put it bluntly, cyber criminals aren’t concerned with the size of your company—data is data. If anything, they may attack smaller vendors, like agencies, firms, and SaaS companies, in an effort to access their larger clients’ information. Everyone receives spam, and bad actors looking to exploit security weaknesses will test all firewalls for vulnerabilities.

Think about all of the information you capture for your clients and users—email addresses and passwords, analytics, credit card information, the list goes on. Both your employees and your clients expect you to keep this sensitive data safe, whether you’re a team of five or 500. If the data you have allows you to do business, that data should be properly protected.

In our increasingly interconnected world, having and maintaining a security posture is becoming a requirement rather than an option. Having the proper security and IT systems in place will give you peace of mind, not to mention a competitive advantage in the SMB marketplace.

Clients are beginning to ask about security posture.

As breach news becomes more and more ubiquitous, clients are beginning to wonder how safe their data actually is—especially when it comes to outside vendors. It’s vital that you prioritize your security posture with proactive measures, instead of in reaction to a breach.

If you have an established and up-to-date security posture in place, you and your team will be able to answer customer questions thoroughly and with confidence. If prospective clients feel their data is not protected sufficiently, they may look for another partner who can provide appropriate security posture information.

What’s more, having an established security posture can also serve as a competitive advantage when courting prospective clients. For example, if your organization is HIPAA compliant and GDPR compliant, healthcare companies and businesses in the European Union will be more comfortable doing business with you. Investing in security ahead of time allows you to reference these policies and procedures during the initial sales discussion.

Finally, security isn’t just about stopping data breaches—it's about making sure you can function as a company. For example, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks can significantly slow your bandwidth to a crawl, making it impossible for clients to use your services or for you to manage your data. Having a security plan in place allows you to explain your continuation of service processes, and restore your services quickly and efficiently with minimal downtime.

Technology is ubiquitous. Security should be too.

In many ways, technology has become an extension of ourselves. Whether we’re at work, at home, or catching up with friends, our phones and computers are always within reach. But with all of the good that technology brings, we must be vigilant when it comes to securing our organizations. In today’s interconnected world, security is fast becoming a hallmark of successful businesses. SMBs in particular should prioritize security to safeguard their fledgling infrastructures and make long-term growth possible.

It’s never been more important for SMBs to elevate their security game. The good news is now best-in-class tools and security expertise (like SIEM and a SOC), that were previously only available to the enterprise are now within reach.

Learn more about Judy, the all-in-one cybersecurity platform and see all that she can do to protect your businesses.