At a recent cybersecurity conference I watched a brilliant talk by Bharat Bhise HNA who was focussing on the importance of cybersecurity for business. Something which I wasn’t aware of was the tiny percentage of businesses, especially small and medium businesses, who don’t believe that cybersecurity should be a top priority for them. This is a worrying statistic which has proven to be a mistake for so many companies out there who have been attacked. If you run a small or medium sized business which uses computer systems then this is exactly why you have to make sure that you invest in cybersecurity.
Low Hanging Fruit
Armed with the information and knowledge that many small and medium sized businesses don’t have cybersecurity, hackers see these as low hanging fruit which they can easily infiltrate and steal important data. There is low risk when attacking these business as not only won’t they come up against security, they are unlikely to be pursued after the attack, in some cases businesses may not even know that they’ve been there.
Many business owners think that they probably don’t have much on their computer systems worth stealing, but this is very rarely the case. Personal information of customers and staff members including banking details, social security numbers and even signatures are all valuable pieces of information. Just a handful of names with the right amount of personal details can be more than worth stealing and using for identity fraud.
Something which is worth knowing is that whilst many business owners refuse to pay for cybersecurity because they don’t want to spend the money, the financial damage to a company which has been hacked can spiral very quickly. There are a number of factors here which damage the business, the first is that there will be days lost whilst the systems are being repaired and upgraded, this could easily lose the business money whilst it is offline. Another cost will be that of the new security which you’ll now have to put in place, which of course should have been done in the first instance, and finally there is a loss of money which you can count on as a result of a damaged reputation.
To follow up on this theme of your reputation being damaged, many businesses fail to see this. Basically when word gets out about the attack that has taken place your business can take a real hit in terms of how much the customer trusts you. If people know that their personal information has been put at risk because of your failure to properly protect it then you are not only going to lose the trust of your existing customers, but this could very realistically put off future customers from wanting to use you in the future.
The simple solution to all of this is to ensure that you beef up your cybersecurity, just like you would protect the business with alarm systems and cameras.