SMB cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is more important than ever, and here’s why

As cybercriminal become increasingly sophisticated, corporate cybersecurity must stay one step ahead of the evolving threats. The costs and resources expended can be catastrophic for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and the reputation damage is hard to recover from.

Luckily, there are steps any SMB leader can take right now to improve their business cybersecurity—but why are these steps so important, and why is it worth investing time and money into cybersecurity solutions?

2018 cybersecurity breaches

No business is immune to data breaches and hacking attempts. In 2018 alone, these major names suffered widespread security breaches:

  • Google
  • T-Mobile
  • Quora
  • British Airways
  • Ticketfly
  • Facebook
  • MyHeritage
  • MyFitnessPal

And the list goes on—if the biggest global businesses are vulnerable to cyber intrusion, SMBs are especially at risk.

How cybersecurity breaches affect SMBs

Over 70% of SMBs report suffering cyberattacks in the last year. As cyberthreats evolve, this figure is only expected to rise. What’s more, 20% of SMBs incurred costs of up to $2.5 million because of cyberattacks—this is more than most small businesses can afford to lose.

  • Cybersecurity breaches affect customer and client confidence in a brand
  • Investigating a security breach costs time and resources
  • Recovery from operational downtime can be difficult
  • Data breaches leave customers susceptible to phishing emails and hacks—directly affecting an SMB’s credibility

Remember, consumers share information with businesses of every size—meaning any company is a potentially lucrative target for cybercriminals.

How SMBs can protect themselves

The good news is that, just as cybercriminals are evolving, so are cybersecurity mechanisms designed to protect SMBs and their customers against digital threats. Here are 5 things an SMB leader can implement today to bolster their cybersecurity before it’s too late.

Data backup

A simple step SMB leaders can take to improve their readiness for cyberattacks is to regularly back up all important data. Whether it’s customer details or confidential business information, data backup helps leaders pick up where they left off and reduce the impact of downtime.

Leaders can back up data on a cloud-based platform, by keeping hard copies, or by using portable devices such as USB drives. Be sure to password-protect any external drives to reduce the risk of tampering.

Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance, also known as cyber liability insurance, mitigates the financial costs incurred by a business following a data breach. These cyber risk policies allow an SMB to offset the costs of an electronic breach, disaster or failure —and ultimately helps protect customers and keep the business profitable.

Consider taking out cyber insurance today to give you and your customers extra peace of mind.

BYOD policies

Employees are increasingly working offsite and accessing everything from emails to documents 24/7. Although this increases productivity, it also makes it harder to control data transfer and access.

So-called “bring your own device” policies allow businesses to govern usage and oversee support for employee-owned portable devices, such as smartphones and laptops. Every business with employees should adopt one. Because business cybersecurity isn’t just a leader’s responsibility—it’s the duty of every staff member to take data integrity seriously, with the right support.

Incident response planning

SMBs can minimize their downtime effect by preparing an effective cybersecurity response strategy. Customers have increased confidence in businesses that they know are ready to respond to security challenges instantly, openly and efficiently.

Consider liaising with IT experts or work with the in-house team to develop a robust contingency plan, and revise this plan when necessary.

Wi-Fi security

Practice good Wi-Fi security by balancing convenience with common sense and consistency:

  • Uniquely authenticate each user on the Wi-Fi network
  • Separate the private and guest networks to protect your core infrastructure from any event that compromises the guest network

Cybersecurity is more important for SMBs than ever before—in fact, a company’s reputation and marketing strategy depend on it.

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