All things evolve. It doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad, with time they advance to the next stage of their cycle.
We saw socialization evolve. When the internet arrived, it solved many of our connectivity problems and allowed people from different parts of the globe to easily communicate with each other.
However, the same also happened with bad stuff like robberies and thefts. Previously, robberies involved people with guns storming into banks or offices and stealing anything they could get their hands on. Today, most robberies happen online in the form of cyberattacks. What’s worse, this kind of robbery has been increasing each year, and it is at its maximum in 2021.
Cyberattacks have been growing in 2021 in both severity and frequency. The biggest target of these attacks are small businesses. It is estimated that with the current growth in cyberattacks, it would cost businesses as much as $5 trillion in the next five years alone.
It is understood that a majority of small organizations are not prepared against online security breaches. This is why they are the most popular targets for cyberattacks because they are also the easiest.
As per estimates, a single cyberattack costs from around $34,000 to $200,000 according to Hiscox’s 2019 Cyber Readiness report. As you can imagine, this is a setback that most small businesses can’t recover from. What’s worse is that in the past year alone, 47% of all small businesses experienced a cyberattack, and at least 44% of these suffered more than once.
Every organization is at risk of a breach
Almost all small businesses today are vulnerable to cyberattacks, regardless of the industry they’re in. As the IT infrastructure becomes more complex to support the ever-growing digital demands, loopholes start to appear within these structures. To combat these threats, security measures need to be strictly enforced in these organizations.
Cybercriminals are aware of the loopholes present inside every business’s IT infrastructure. The situation is so dire that it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ a cyber incident will happen, but rather ‘when will it happen.
Most small businesses today don’t just lack proper security infrastructure. These businesses don’t even have a plan in place that would help them mitigate or recover from a devastating cyberattack.
It’s hard for small businesses to recover from the damages
No small business can recover from a security breach that costs the company $200,000. Even medium and large enterprises have problems recovering from such a terrible financial blow. Worse, these companies can suffer from more than one breach in a year, and each can cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Many times, cyber threats infiltrate the systems and remain undetected for weeks – or even months! Cybercriminals keep taking advantage of these infiltrations without getting caught because there are no threat detection mechanisms in place within these companies.
Even after these breaches do get caught, companies have to suffer compliance penalties, legal fees, loss of reputation, and also loss of customers. Consequences such as these can easily bankrupt a business. In fact, it is estimated that almost half of all small businesses close within six months of a cyberattack.
To prevent these problems from happening, organizations need to adopt a comprehensive security strategy to avoid cyber threats and adopt risk management policies that would also help to mitigate damages once an incident occurs.
Steps you can take to combat cyberthreats
There are steps you can follow to stop cyber threats from happening. You’ll notice that many of these steps are very easy to perform. However, they still go a long way in protecting your business from unnecessary threats.
Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to make your business more secure:
- Subscribe to a secure VPN service in order to avoid unnecessary online threats and surveillance.
- Install and update your network firewalls, making use of encryption techniques to keep your data safe.
- Make sure to update your software and OS in a timely manner in order to cover up any loopholes that were present in them.
- Make sure to create backups of your system on a daily basis in order to recover any important data if the system gets compromised.
- Install tools that scan networks and apps on a daily basis in order to detect a breach as soon as possible.
- Use multi-factor authentication to reduce the chance of unauthorized entry.
- Spread awareness and start employee training programs so they can identify and respond to threats quickly and appropriately.
Implementing the correct cybersecurity approach is difficult for a person who is not an IT professional. It’s always best to take the opinions of someone who is a cybersecurity expert. But even if that option is not available, following the steps mentioned above would still do a lot to keep your business safe from dangerous cybersecurity threats.
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