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One of the most overlooked but important features of a modern business strategy is undoubtedly cybersecurity. It encompasses such a wide variety of different aspects within your business, but with one specific goal in mind.
As it grows in both complexity and importance, more and more companies are seeking out cybersecurity services. So, what is cyber security, who needs it, and how do you prepare for it? Let’s talk about that.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is the process of protecting your digital assets and data from cybercriminals or unauthorized users. This is a specialty service within the IT field that protects companies, organizations, government agencies, or even regular civilians from cyber threats.
Why Is Cyber Security a Top Priority Now?
If you’ve paid attention to the news, even passively, within the last year, you’ve undoubtedly seen a few examples of why cybersecurity is so important.
The most glaring example was the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, which temporarily crippled the US economy and saw a ripple effect throughout the world. That little mishap cost the company $4.4 million just in ransom, along with millions more in lost business, and it offered a large hit to consumers across the country.
While that was an extreme example, the US government was only able to recover $2.3 million in ransom, and nobody was ever caught or charged for the attack.
There have been plenty of other cyber attacks in the last year that didn’t draw the same media attention. However, they were all very devastating in their own right. In fact, 2020 alone saw $4.2 billion in losses due to cybercrime. That certainly isn’t sustainable, but luckily, there are ways to prevent it.
Who Needs Cyber Security?
Any business, organization, or government agency that has sensitive data stored on some type of computer system is vulnerable to a cyber attack. In the digital age, that’s almost all of them.
There are some industries, like health care for example, that hold highly sensitive data about thousands of people, which may include their address, personal information, medical records, billing information, and more, which is why cyber security is required in the field. That information is protected under the law and would be devastating to both the organization and the individuals if that information made its way into the wrong hands.
No matter what small business you are running, you may have a credit card reader, membership program, or anything that stores a record about your employees, clients, or customers. In that case, your data needs to be protected.
Important Facts About Cybersecurity
Cyber security is one of the most critical parts of a business’s online strategy, as the potential ROI is enormous. Having your business’s entire array of digital assets protected can literally save your business from going under. Here’s what you need to know about it.
1. Breaches Are Difficult To Detect
If you don’t have the right security systems in place, breaches don’t just pop up on your screen automatically or sound any alarms when they happen. You may be surprised to know how long a breach can go undetected.
Believe it or not, the average business takes 191 days to even notice that a breach has occurred. By then, it’s essentially too late to prevent a large amount of that data to be stolen, and the best that you can do is mitigate the damage.
2. Attacks Are On the Rise
Quite sharply, we should add. In fact, back in 2016, there was a breach roughly once every 40 seconds. That is now down to once every 11 seconds, which is nearly 4 times the frequency in just 5 years. That makes it more important than ever to find solutions as soon as possible.
In fact, during the pandemic, the FBI reported an increase of over 300% on reported cybercrimes as systems were left unchecked and criminals spent more time at home.
3. They Are Costly
Not only does the average breach cost a company around $200,000, but that doesn’t account for every cost. Sure, you may pay that in ransom or have it siphoned from an account, but that isn’t all.
If you have to shut down your business for several days to recover, lose more business after making a public statement about the breach, and pay damages to some of your customers or employees, these costs could increase dramatically.
4. Cloud Systems Are the Best
The king of technology in cybersecurity is using cloud-based storage systems. They have been the hottest trend in recent years for being such an effective way to store, share, and access your data from multiple devices without fear of cyber threats.
This should be a part of your cybersecurity strategy. Not only does it keep your data protected, but it keeps it backed up in a secured, online platform. That way, even if your entire network and computer hardware were destroyed, you would still be able to access your protected data.
5. It Isn’t Just Passwords
Changing your password is undoubtedly an important part of preventing cybercrime. A leaked password was likely even the reason for the Colonial Pipeline breach.
However, there are many moving parts within a system through which a criminal can enter. For example, if you use a company WiFi, that network could be an easy point of attack if left unsecured. If it is secured but your staff uses it with their unsecured smartphones, then your data isn’t secure.
Because there are so many different ways to access your most critical data, it really is necessary to have a dedicated cybersecurity team to help you with your needs.
Across all domains of your company, you should develop a strategy that incorporates cybersecurity risks. That’s for your staff policies, data entry, and your website. You can even set up a free website strategy session today.
6. Trends Change All the Time
The digital world is transforming a lot faster than most companies are, and there is no sign of slowing down. Companies need to adapt to new trends, software, and practices in order to stay ahead of criminals.
This is one of the primary reasons that web browsers and operating systems have such frequent updates. It’s to stop criminals who are used to the existing systems and to stay one step ahead of them. There is no substitute for having a cybersecurity team that is always one step ahead of those who wish to harm your company.
7. Nearly Half of Attacks Target Small Businesses
Over 43% to be precise. This is because small businesses are the most likely to use older systems and to skip on cybersecurity protection, making them more vulnerable. Not only that, but smaller organizations spend an average of $7.6 million per incident and are the least likely to recover.
8. Share Prices Fall After Breaches
By over 7% on average. Some companies can make quick recoveries from this if they have the right disaster relief plan and cybersecurity team to remedy the situation, but preventing it from happening in the first place is what you really need.
9. Cybersecurity Jobs Are In High Demand
There are actually millions of jobs in the industry that are currently available, but unfilled. More and more companies are understanding the need for these services, but are having trouble when it comes to finding the right staff.
This is why outsourced cybersecurity teams are becoming so popular. Pooling your resources with other companies can save you money and still offer excellent services, but you still have to find the right team.
10. You Should Ask Questions
If you’re hiring a team of cybersecurity specialists, you should ask a lot of questions. A network breach could put all of your employees and customers at serious risk and devastate your company. Even a simple website hack could tank your SEO rankings, scare your customers away, and even tank your business.
Because of this, it’s important that you know that you are getting the right services. Ask potential companies or staff about their areas of expertise and previous work to make sure that what they are offering is the right fit for your company.
If it’s your website that you are concerned with, take a look at the company portfolio and testimonials to gauge their level of expertise. This is especially important for businesses that contain sensitive information on their websites like an eCommerce store.
Get Yourself Protected!
Now that you know why cyber security is so important, you should understand why your business needs to make that investment. You paid for your website, you built your company, and you’ve gained the trust of your customers; why waste all of that? Stay up to date with our latest tech news and feel free to reach out with any questions!