How often does your company talk about data security?
Unfortunately, it’s often a topic saved for the last few minutes of meetings, if it’s even discussed at all. Despite a recent increase in security breach threats facing companies, many small businesses still don’t think they’ll fall victim to an attack. Many times they’ll say, “We’re not Amazon or Google. Our information isn’t that valuable.”
However, little do they know, they’re just as vulnerable as the big guys.
In 2015, nearly half of all cyberattacks were aimed at small businesses. According to a survey by the National Small Business Association, hackers made more than $32,000 per attack in the last year.
In our recent webinar, “Data security: The cost of doing business as usual is greater than you think,” we discussed why now is the time for businesses to buckle down and discuss the implications a breach could have on their organizations. Attacks come at a hefty price. Monetary costs include, but are not limited to:
- Paying ransom for the safe return of data;
- Contracting an outside service to recover lost data;
- Providing customers with compensation for any inconveniences;
- Repaying the penalties associated with regulatory non-compliance;
- Working with lawyers to settle any legal disputes; and
- Hiring a crisis firm to deal with the public.
Not only could potential threats impact a company financially, but also operationally. The reputational damage that comes with a data breach is almost irreparable. Current customers find it difficult to forgive an organization following an attack, and prospective customers often cut growing relationships short. Tack on a potential media frenzy, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The first step to addressing security is knowing what is at stake. Businesses need to have a firm grasp of the implications of an attack, and IT professionals need to bring the facts to the table to help develop successful data security plans. Gone are the days of pushing security onto the back burner. It’s time to start being proactive, instead of reactive.