Over the last couple of years, even businesses from certain traditionally “offline” industries have gone online, in one way or another. A large number of businesses have websites these days, with many of them even doing business online, selling their services or products directly on the web. Other businesses are online in a less obvious way, exchanging emails with their customers and partners, their employees collaborating online on tasks and projects and so on.
While going online is definitely a good thing for the company which can increase the customer base and lower expenses through taking advantage of software-as-a-service solutions, web presence also comes with its own risks. In short, a business that goes online needs to start worrying about cybersecurity as soon as possible.
Size Does Not Matter
The most important thing entrepreneurs and small business owners need to understand that size does not matter when cybersecurity is in question. Hackers and other attackers do not worry themselves much with how big a company is. In fact, many among them prefer smaller businesses for one very simple reason. Smaller businesses often lack even the basic cybersecurity measures, meaning they can be easily penetrated. This will often be possible to do without spending more than a few minutes.
Small businesses which handle any kind of payment data are particularly attractive to attackers who will use one of innumerable ways of gaining access in order to find their way to the sensitive data that can be used to empty accounts and do other kinds of damage.
Consequences are Dire
Small business owners should also understand that the costs of a data breach can be very high and that in many cases they can lead to the business having to shut down completely. There are a number of reasons for this.
For one, a business will most likely have to halt all of their operations until they are certain the data breach has been handled and that the company’s data is secure once again. This can take months during which the business will only lose money. It also takes quite a bit of money to hire experts who will “purge” the company and make it secure again.
Finally, we must not forget the blow to the reputation that the company will suffer because of such a breach. Customers and partners alike will have qualms about working with a company that has had a history of data breach.
Partners can Become Risks
An increasing number of small businesses are using outside partners for certain parts of their operation. For example, the vast majority of small to medium businesses will hire an outside IT company to handle their networks, their hardware and other aspects of their IT needs. There are other services that can be outsourced, such as accounting for instance.
In a large number of cases, those outsourced service providers will have some sort of access to the SMB’s system, which means they also become a vulnerability. According to this post from Securelink, these outside partnerships are becoming a more serious cybersecurity consideration than ever before and small business owners need to be careful when choosing their partners and allowing them access to any sensitive data.
There are a few reasons why business owners need to worry about cybersecurity. For one, everyone is a target in today’s world. Also, the consequences of not having cybersecurity measures employed can be extremely harmful and potentially fatal for a business. Finally, with new types of threats being discovered on regular basis, the online world only gets more and more dangerous.
The good news is that business owners can do plenty to beef up the cybersecurity of their organizations and minimize the chances of suffering data breaches or other types of cyber-attacks.