The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

cybersecurity for small businesses

The Reality of Cybercrime

Many small businesses never expect to face a cyber attack. When you ask the business owners about their risk of falling victim to a cyber threat, they often say, “Why would anyone attack me?” It’s a common belief that all cybercrime is calculated and highly intentional; people imagine cybercriminals looking exclusively for large targets.

The truth is that most cybercrime is petty—not a grand-scale digital heist where a group of hackers holds the data of a major corporation hostage. Those large corporations take substantial measures to protect themselves. Small to medium-sized businesses are much easier targets.

Even then, however, it’s rare that a cybercriminal identifies a singular small business they want to attack. They’re casting a wide net, waiting for someone to bite. The question of “Why would anyone attack me?” is understandable, but it misses the point. Small businesses and their owners are not being singled out and targeted. The reality of existing in the modern world, relying on technology as we do, is that you will be at risk of falling victim to a cyber attack every single day.

How Do Cyber Attacks Affect Small Businesses?

Cybersecurity for small businesses is so critical because the effects of a cyber attack on a small business are often dire. Security Magazine found that 60% of all small businesses that experience a data breach end up shutting down within six months of being attacked.

Why are Data Breaches So Often Fatal for Small Businesses?

Due to limited staff, resources, and information, small businesses typically haven’t invested in any cybersecurity measures or services. This means they don’t know what their vulnerabilities are (or how to remediate those vulnerabilities) nor do they have a disaster response plan.

Larger businesses have dedicated cybersecurity budgets and personnel who create detailed plans that dictate how the company needs to respond to cyber attacks. Without risk mitigation or a disaster response plan, most small business owners have no idea what to do after an attack and aren’t equipped to recover from it.

What are the Costs of a Cyber Attack on a Small Business?

Small businesses don’t have investors or reserves of cash to fall back on when they take a hit—and successful cyber attacks are a huge financial hit. Take a look at the numbers:

  • Small businesses must pay an average of $10,000 for IT services after an attack
  • Cyber attacks lose small businesses an average of $5,000 in revenue
  • Downtime caused by cyber attacks results in roughly $23,000 lost due to downtime
  • An average of $8,000 is spent after an attack to prevent a repeat incident

Accounting for all the financial costs of a cyber attack, small businesses stand to lose nearly $55,000 for being the victim of a cybercrime.

What Can Small Business Owners Do to Protect Their Businesses?

The first thing small business owners should do is educate themselves on the types of cyber attacks and educate their employees on how to avoid falling victim or jeopardizing the business.

It’s also vital to be proactive and spend the money on the front end to prevent cyber attacks. While it may feel ill-advised to prioritize cybersecurity for small businesses, the cost of engaging risk mitigation and managed services is always going to be less than the cost of a cyber attack.

CyberTeam is a cybersecurity and IT industry leader with over 23 years of experience providing cybersecurity for small businesses (and for companies of all sizes). We equip our clients to protect themselves from cyber attacks. If you’re interested in working with us, get in touch.

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