The reality is, cyber crime is one of the fastest-growing criminal threats affecting businesses across the US. What does this mean? It’s simple. A failure to properly secure your sensitive company and customer data puts your entire business’ operations in jeopardy. Here’s a closer look at why data security is so vital to every business, and some tips on how to defend your company against this evolving threat.
Why data security so important to your business
Cyber crime doesn’t just affect large companies or international corporations. Hackers targets small and medium-sized businesses, too. In fact, recent reports show that around 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at SMBs, and these attacks are costing small businesses around $200,000 a year.
Alarmingly, however, only 14% of SMBs are properly prepared to defend themselves against cyber attacks. In short, this means that your business may be extremely vulnerable to data loss or corruption.
The current threat landscape
While there are many cyber threats to watch out for, there are a few that affect SMBs in particular. Let’s take a look at the threats most likely to affect your business in 2020 and beyond.
One of the most common ways for hackers to attack SMBs is through email. A 2019 report showed that 1 in 323 emails to SMBs are malicious and aimed at either corrupting data or harvesting information.
Too often, employees and contractors accidentally cause data breaches. This may be through a lack of training or simple negligence; for example, an employee leaking a password. A 2018 report revealed that employee negligence accounts for over 60% of SMB data breaches.
Ransomware is a huge problem for businesses. Ransomware programs either threaten to leak data or they prohibit access to files until a company pays a ransom. A 2019 annual cyber crime report estimates that, by 2021, a business will suffer a ransomware attack every 11 seconds.
How to effectively prepare your company for the future
The simple truth is that data security issues cause downtime which in turn costs your business time, money, and resources. In some cases, this will be enough to cause your company to fail. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent your business from falling prey to a data security breach.
Train your staff
Preserving data security within a business is a team effort. Ensure your employees know how to spot a malicious email, and help them choose strong, robust passwords that they change regularly.
Budget for IT
While protecting company data may feel like an unnecessary cost, it’s crucial that you allocate sufficient resources to cybersecurity in your IT budget. Given that SMBs invest on average less than $500 per year in security products, it’s unsurprising that they’re prime targets for hackers. Don’t become a statistic. Invest in cybersecurity.
Outsource your data security needs
The easiest way to protect your company data from hackers is to employ expert assistance. Managed service providers and IT specialists don’t just understand cyber crime – they understand specifically how evolving cyber threats affect your specific business. This support is invaluable in an increasingly threatening landscape.
The future of business is digital, which means it has never been more important for companies to think about their cybersecurity strategies. For more information on how cybersecurity or data security affects your business, contact us now.