The importance of cybersecurity has never been more pronounced than it is today. With cyberattacks and data breaches on the rise, businesses must be careful to ensure that they are adequately protected.
To understand why cybersecurity is so important, you need to understand the threats posed by cybercrime, the potential vulnerabilities that small businesses have, and what they can do to protect themselves.
The Potential Costs of a Cyber Attack
According to a recent report from IBM, data breaches can cost businesses an average of $4.35 million. For many businesses, this kind of expense will simply mean shutting their doors for good. While the specific cost incurred by any data breach will depend on many individual factors, even small businesses can find themselves in deep trouble.
Even if you don’t realize it, your business likely handles plenty of sensitive information that could prove costly to lose in a data breach. Protecting your business from the following costs is a major part of why cyber security is important.
The Technical Costs of Security Breaches
Trying to avoid the cost of professional vulnerability management could leave your business with significantly higher costs trying to clean up the mess later. When your business has a data breach caused by unauthorized access, you’ll need emergency measures to improve security immediately.
While maintaining network security can be very affordable for businesses, rush jobs to stop the loss of sensitive information can carry a higher price tag. It’s better to invest in proper cybersecurity than to foot the bill of fixing things after the fact.
If you’re dealing with serious cyber threats like malware or ransomware, the price tag can be even higher. You may need to completely wipe or replace devices, losing important data and potentially setting your business back to the point it can’t recover.
The Legal Costs of Data Breaches
Every business has some form of personal information stored on its network. This can include employee information, customer information, vendor information, and more. For certain businesses, it can include patient information covered by HIPAA and other privacy laws.
If you allow a data breach to compromise this sensitive data, you could find yourself dealing with massive legal costs. The importance of cybersecurity in business is very clear when the fines associated with data breaches could potentially bankrupt you.
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Beyond that, individuals can sue your business for lost personal information. You could find yourself paying significant damages for the loss of employee or customer data. While you might not think the security provided by managed IT services is something your business needs, small businesses simply can’t afford this kind of data breach.
Loss of Business Due to Security Breaches
One of the best answers to the question “why is cybersecurity important for my business?” is that it’s important to your customers. If consumers hear about examples of your company mishandling sensitive information, they’ll be significantly less likely to choose products or services.
Privacy is among the most important topics among consumers today, and that means that there is a spotlight on how businesses handle customer data. Even if your business doesn’t incur major technical and legal expenses after a data breach, you could find yourself losing your customer base.
The Importance of Cybersecurity and Dealing With Specific Threats
Today, businesses face an extensive range of cyber threats. There are both malicious software developed to target businesses and ingenious social engineering to deal with. These threats are after the valuable data found within your network and computer systems, and you need to understand the main strategies they can use.
Phishing attacks are among the most widespread sources of data breaches. The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon showed that 36% of data breaches were achieved through phishing attacks. These methods involve impersonating coworkers, vendors, customers, or other individuals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Preventing phishing attacks can be a significant challenge because they attack the human element of your systems rather than the technical elements. However, there are plenty of measures that can be taken to prevent human error from leading to significant breaches, such as two-factor authentication and other methods for securing connected devices.
Malware Cyber Threats
Another one of the ways that third parties can hack your sensitive data is malware. Malware is any type of malicious software that infects your computer. It can include software that discretely steals sensitive information or ransomware that locks your computer and demands payment to restore access. Both types are major threats to businesses of any size.
Protecting your business from malware requires both practical training for your employees to avoid suspicious files, along with robust technical protection and frequent security updates and system scans.
Man-in-the-Middle Cyber Attacks
Hackers have grown increasingly sophisticated in the methods they use to steal sensitive information from businesses. A man-in-the-middle attack is when a third party strikes at an intermediary stage in your connection, such as a poorly secured WiFi router.
Proper cyber security measures can greatly reduce the risk of these types of attacks. End-to-end security solutions, network evaluations, and other measures can eliminate this weak point in your security.
How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves
While it’s clear why cybersecurity is important, there’s still the question of what your business can do about it. In most cases, the best thing that you can do is rely on experts to handle your cybersecurity needs for you.
With so many different elements of cyber security to consider, many businesses can benefit from managed IT services. These services can bring together all of your IT service needs under one roof, including your cyber security.
Your systems will benefit from a coherent and holistic approach to security. You’ll also have the option to improve security further by making the switch to cloud services and cloud storage. The powerful encryption and additional protections offered by these services can keep sensitive data safer.
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You’ll also be able to rest assured that every aspect of your IT needs is kept up to date. Keeping software, hardware, and your network updated is a key part of preventing data breaches. There is a constant race between developers and hackers to patch vulnerabilities and discover new ones, and falling behind on these updates could have serious consequences for your business.
Managed IT services will also provide you with the necessary security and data analytics to be sure that your cyber security measures are providing the security they promise. Regular evaluations of your security posture and network help identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious actors.
For Your Cybersecurity Needs in Washington State
Now that you understand the potential costs of data breaches and the potential vulnerabilities your business may have, you need support from seasoned experts to meet your security needs. Attentus Tech provides comprehensive IT support and managed IT services for businesses of any size.
You can leave all of your security needs to our team, and we’ll deliver a custom solution that addresses the unique security challenges your business faces. Just contact Attentus Tech today to schedule a consultation and network assessment to better understand your cyber security needs.