Your business is neither too small nor too big for a cyber security attack. While big companies might realize the risks of leaving their website unsecured, small and medium enterprises are more likely to consider themselves more likely. But this is very far from being accurate. Because website hackers usually use automated tools to locate vulnerable sites, they will find almost every unsecured website on the internet.
In short, your very presence on the internet already makes you vulnerable and in need of security.
But maybe you need to know what cyber security is first.
Cyber Security Explained
Cybersecurity is a broad term that references the various technologies that help businesses and individuals protect their systems and data on the internet.
Cyber attacks are advancing by the day, and with this comes the need for cybersecurity technologies to get ahead as well.
A company can use any of the following methods to improve its security on the internet:
- Train employees in the general principles of cybersecurity
- Ensure every computer or other internet device used by your business has updated versions of antivirus and antispyware.
- Your internet connection will be safer if it uses a firewall.
- Operating systems and software updates should be installed and updated as soon as they become available.
- Always have backup copies of all critical company data.
- Physical access to your business computers and network components should be controlled.
- Ensure that your Wi-Fi is secured and hidden.
- Consider having each employee sign in through an individual user account.
- Not every employee should have access to data and information and be able to install any kind of software. Control this access within your business.
- Don’t keep the same passwords forever. Change them up regularly for maximum security.
- Hire a cybersecurity firm to help you identify and plug any threats that might exist for your company.
Why Your Business Should Care About Its Cyber Security?
As a business, there are several reasons why you should be concerned about the level of your cyber risk. With so much at stake for your business should your website get attacked, you should ensure software reliability at all times.
The following are some of the reasons why your business’s cybersecurity should be a top priority for you:
- Customer Risk
The primary target of cyberattacks is, in most instances, customers’ personal information. Your business likely has a lot of sensitive information that will compromise your customer’s safety if there is a breach in your system.
This information might include credit card information, addresses, medical records, mobile phone numbers, and other information types. This is all information that might be dangerous if it falls into the hands of a criminal. Anyone with this access knows exactly where your clients live, has access to their bank accounts, and can exploit the information further in any way possible.
You should not be caught unawares and unprepared. By giving you their information, your clients believe that you would have prepared to receive such data by setting up security measures before asking for such information.
The damage, if it happens, will be catastrophic, and besides the immediate damage to your clients, their confidence in your brand might be entirely gone in the future. This will have noticeable adverse effects on your business outcomes. This leads us to the next point.
- Financial Risk
Being careless with your cybersecurity is going to cost your business more than it could ever prepare for. A security breach into your business is going to affect so many vectors financially.
Areas most likely to cost your business money after a security breach will include, but in no way be limited to plummeting stock prices, identity protection services for affected customers, public relations efforts, investigation costs, legal fees (consultations and possible actions against your business).
Not to mention the fact that as a result of the attack, your business might have to bear outage times, lose current and potential customers, and handle the more expensive costs of reactionary cybersecurity damage control.
Furthermore, insurance rates might get higher the less proactive you are about your cybersecurity. Cyber insurance is made to cover for accidents such as this, but as with all at-fault accidents, rates will be higher for covering businesses that don’t have measures to try and prevent cyber-attacks from happening than for those who have proactive measures.
To manage costs in all the listed ways and more, it’s always a good idea to stay one step ahead and secure your business before the risk has actively affected it.
- Protects Your Products
Another thing that’s at risk when your business’s security is breached is its proprietary data. Your intellectual property, ideas, and communications will be exposed to people they shouldn’t be. Worst of all, it will be exposed to individuals who might want to steal your intellectual property and harm your company.
If you lose your company strategy, ideas, and communications, you have essentially lost a bulk part of the business itself.
- The Reputation of Your Company
Cybersecurity is a matter of securing your company’s reputation. If your security is breached and affects customers, which it likely will once it has happened, you will have to expect a lot of media coverage. This coverage is extending the reach of the damage that’s been already made.
You want to guard your business against the possibility of people starting to infiltrate your brand with data breaches. Even more, if your cyber vulnerability becomes widely uncovered, it’s also extending the level of exposure and risk faced by your business.
Every cyber attacker wanting to penetrate your system will now know how and where exactly your security system is weak. This can lead to repeat attacks if, for some reason, the problems are not solved at all or quick enough.
- It Could Damage Careers
The damage of a cybersecurity attack is limited to the company and touches some individual careers. If your job is obviously to look out for the business’s protection on the internet, such as when you are the CTO, then your job will immediately be on the line. The CEO will also likely be affected by such a security breach.
Individuals are not too concerned with whoever is assigned to secure the company’s system. All they know is that the CEO is the pack leader, and since the pack is taking a significant fall, the CEO is likely to be blamed and possibly be replaced. And when a company changes leadership, it could probably lead to career cuts due to financial struggles, which rippled from its lack of cybersecurity.
Just as your business likely has a plan to counter against physical breaches into its office buildings, so too must it have measures to guard against breaches in internet security.
Leaving your website and information unprotected will cost your business much more than it could pay a firm to protect your business against attacks.