If the major data breaches of the last decade — such as Equifax, Disney, Target and even Yahoo in 2013 — aren’t enough to convince businesses to invest in cybersecurity, then what else will?
Researchers from CohnReznick LLP found that only 39 percent of businesses think of cybersecurity as a “top concern” for their business, while 50 percent think of it as only a “moderate concern.” The remaining 11 percent claim they are not really worried at all.
Keep reading to find out why you should be thinking about cybersecurity for your business — chances are it’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run — and it might even save your business.
Reason #1: Cybersecurity attacks are way more common than many think, and can be devastating beyond repair. Many people mistakenly think data breaches affect only large enterprises, but that is simply not true. Although most of the popular news outlets are only covering the biggest security breaches that have happened to the largest enterprises, a big chunk of attacks actually target small businesses. In 2017, Small Business Trends found that approximately 43 percent of these data breaches and cybersecurity hacking attacks not only target small businesses, but 60 percent of these small companies go out of business within six months of the attack. That’s a massive percentage for something that could have been avoided.
Reason #2: If cybersecurity attacks are targeting a business, they’re probably targeting a customer or employee, too. Small Business Trends found that 50 percent of small business said that they had experienced a data breach that compromised customer and employee information. Any amount of personal information — phone numbers, home addresses, even credit scores and credit and debit card information — can be compromised in breaches. If an individual has ever typed their personal information out on a form to make a purchase or sign up for something, that information is stored in a database, leaving it vulnerable unless protected. Personal information can also be compromised by communicating with a phisher or hacker that appears to be reputable, but is only out to steal sensitive information.
Reason #3: Cybersecurity is affordable when compared to losing your business. If sensitive data is compromised, businesses must pay compliance fines and court fees, lead a criminal investigation, and then invest in identity theft prevention services. In addition to all of this, businesses will lose valuable customers in the process, and will end up spending even more on customer acquisition and reputation rebranding. These reasons are the exact reasons small businesses tend to go out of business after a data breach.
Reasons to Provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training
While excellent cybersecurity software will prevent the majority of data breaches and threats, every business, big and small, should invest in cybersecurity awareness training. Without the proper training for employees, it’s like handing a burglar the keys to your house.
Cybersecurity attacks are actually attempts to sway company employees into relaying passwords or sensitive information over a communication medium such as email or an instant messaging service. Phishers will convincingly pose as banks, trusted clients or even other employees in order to convince them. This is why it’s extremely important to invest in cybersecurity awareness training for all employees — cybersecurity isn’t just the job of IT, it’s the job of every employee.
Reason #1: Awareness training might even be required for certain businesses. Regulatory requirements for businesses or organizations that must be HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley compliant must require employees to take some form of cybersecurity awareness training. Health information is extremely important to protect under HIPAA, and employees must be taught the proper tools to protect it. It’s important to understand that employees are the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity.
Reason #2: When employees are permitted to bring their own computing devices to work, this is an inherent security risk. For some businesses, this security risk can’t be avoided. If employees must use their own laptops and other portable devices at work, precautions should be taken to prevent breaches on these devices. In these cases, awareness training should extend to include these devices, and security software should be installed on them.
Reason #3: There are ever-changing threats out there, and employees should be well-versed in these changes. These threats include new ways to breach data via social media, email phishing, and ransomware attacks on the cloud.
If you’re ready to get serious about cybersecurity and awareness training, you could even consider pulling a mock phishing attempt against your employees to see how vulnerable your business really is. You’ll probably be surprised at the results.
It’s of extreme importance to take the proper precautions when it comes to cybersecurity for your business. Cybersecurity threat prevention goes a long way, and good security practices prevent data breaches. BlueRange Technology can provide your business with IT security solutions in endpoint and network security, as well as employee training to keep our organization protected. We’ll assess your needs and get you the best coverage that fits within your budget. Contact us to learn more.