The increase in the amount of data breaches and cyber attacks have resulted in a rise in the number of conversations surrounding IT security for small businesses. While the resulting conversation is an important one, all too often small businesses simply don’t have the time to research and understand the onslaught of technological solutions that are available to them. This widespread lack of education is growing as cybersecurity solutions continue to be developed and released at unprecedented levels. With these challenges in mind, the increase in IT security conversations has resulted in at least one promising outcome: small businesses have just revealed that IT security is now their top concern.
IT Security For Small Businesses
As the technology landscape continues to evolve and grow, small businesses need to focus on the range of technologies that they are using, as well as the day to day complications and issues that arise. Focusing their attention on these entities will help small businesses to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. For example, a small business might notice that its communication structure has several vulnerabilities, which is why employees are constantly being spammed with unwanted emails from potential hackers. Conversely, a small business might discover that employees are failing to regularly update their devices, install patches, and complete timely malware checks across platforms.
Small businesses need to also consider the cost of a data breach. To put the cost in perspective, small businesses should review the following figures and statements:
- In 2016 the average data security breach will cost a company $4 Million.
- In 2016 the average cost of a single stolen record that contained vital business data or sensitive data (such as an employee’s full name, Social Security number, birth date, and address) is $158.
- After a data breach, most companies will need to pay for credit monitoring services for all affected individuals. While these services aren’t a mandatory requirement, they will go a long ways toward fostering goodwill amongst customers.
- The cost of a data breach is more than a financial matter. A cybersecurity hack that results in a data breach can irreparably negatively impact the brand and reputation of a company.
- A lack of proper IT security protocols can put a company in violation of certain government regulations. For example, companies that accept credit card payments online must comply with the established PCI data security standards. Failing to comply with these published standards can result in hefty fines.
Small businesses need to also ensure that their IT security protocols are up to date as hackers continue to delve into new industries. No longer will hackers be satisfied with a “big win,” instead they will use ransomware or phishing scams to target unsuspecting small businesses whom might not have the hefty cybersecurity measures of a larger entity. In this vein, small businesses need to also focus their efforts on educating their employees about best practice security tactics. Employees are less likely to make a costly mistake if they have been properly educated about cybersecurity and the potential dangers that are lurking within a seemingly harmless spam-like email.
In short, small businesses should be vigilant in establishing the budget needed to continue to make IT security a top priority. Failing to invest in IT security could result in costly data breach, which could leave a small company out of business and its employees out of jobs. Puryear IT is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news. Contact us at (225) 706-8414 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.