In today’s digital world, you cannot be naive about protecting your data, especially with the increasing frequency of cyber attacks affecting businesses worldwide.
Irrespective of whether you have 10 or 10,000 employees working for you, cybercriminals will eventually manage to crack your system and collect your confidential data if it’s not protected carefully.
You may come across the message ‘unauthorised access’ more than once or twice and this message is displayed to minimise the risk of personal and financial data being made easily available to customers.
Data theft has a huge impact on a company and in a plethora of ways. The first impact of data theft on the company is that your customers begin to lose trust in you.
It is very difficult to sustain customer loyalty once their data is unsafe and this has a direct effect on sales. It also becomes difficult to predict future losses in sales as customers start losing their trust in you and look to take their custom elsewhere.
A business can end up losing millions of pounds in such circumstances and small businesses that intend to expand in the future should take note and be prepared, as not doing so can be the difference being a business existing in a decade and one that shuts its doors well before that.
It has become essential to invest in cybersecurity in order to protect your firm from being a target for cyber attacks. As we mentioned previously, it is equally important for a growing firm to pay keen attention to cybersecurity.
Realising the significance of cybersecurity for your company is important, but knowing what it entails even more so.
What is Cyber Security?
Cybersecurity is a well-designed body comprising of processes, technologies, and practices designed to shield computers, networks, data and programs from damage, virus and unauthorized access. Computing text includes security namely cybersecurity and physical security.
Fact is, a cyber-attack has the potential to disrupt and cause considerable damage to an organization. The damage is not only financial but it also harms the reputation of an organization. A cyber attack to your organization can cause a loss of:
Additionally, you may also have to face litigation and regulatory fines. According to a survey in 2017, the UK government found that an approximate cost of a cybersecurity violation for a large organization is £19,600 and the figure is £1,570 for SME’s.
Types of Companies
An organization can be categorized differently depending upon its annual turnover and the number of employees working in it. But, today with digitization, the nature of the industry has evolved and companies are differentiated from those who have been hacked and those who haven’t.
Every business is associated with some vulnerability, which means that they are not a hundred percent secure against a cyber attack.
With access to the latest technology, hackers have become sophisticated as well. When they plan to make huge profits, they plan and use improved techniques and systems to hack data of a particular business, which might leave a business owner wondering where all their data and money just disappeared.
Small businesses often have the misconception that due to the size of their organization, they will not be subject to cyber attacks. The reality though is the complete opposite. Such a misconception can leave your organisation exposed and be very costly.
Many small businesses have suffered due to such a faulty line of thinking, which eventually led to their demise.
How have small businesses begun to focus on Cyber Security?
Small businesses have been the subject of around 71 percent of cyber attacks worldwide. These attacks are mainly done within the first six months of an organisation being set up.
Hackers are aware of the fact that small firms do not have additional funds and resources, compared to multinational companies.
Huge companies have access to the best resources and can outsource IT firms to handle their Cyber Security. Basically, a team of professionals can shield business data from getting hacked and offer a safe online backup.
When it comes to small businesses, which start with a minimum budget, having a specialised IT department that offers Cyber Security is completely out of the question due to budgetary constraints. Lack of Cyber Security can hamper a company’s longevity.
In most scenarios, hackers target details of your customer’s credit cards. They usually use unsecured Wifi connectivity to access data if your employees work in inaccessible locations. The increasing use of mobile apps and internet has amplified the number of attacks.
How should a small business respond?
As more companies are learning about cyber attacks, they are also realizing that their employees can be one of their biggest cyber threats. Cybercriminals are well acquainted with the fact that employees do not keep their data secured and they simply take advantage of that reality.
But, start-ups these days have developed stringent policies, which secure data and ensure that no information is lost or stolen from office premises. Specific employee training programs are implemented which help them to differentiate between authentic and unauthentic mails.
Many small businesses have also started following in-depth guidelines to backup data.
Other Affordable means
As technology keeps evolving, new ways of protecting data are discovered by experts and companies all the time. Some simple tactics are mentioned here:
The main medium through which hackers enter your system is the internet. So, small business owners can secure this source with access prevention of intruders, VPNs and network access controllers. Building firewalls to block access is yet another way to limit the access to your data.
This means knowing just the password will not give a hacker access to a company’s server.
Anti-virus software gets updated at frequent intervals as per the latest changes in technology. Start-ups are keen to invest in such software as they fit within their budget and offer them much needed security.
As most people make use of their smartphones to access data, small businesses are encrypting mobile features as well. It is important to have a secured mobile policy, which reduces chances of data being hacked through mobile phones.
Lastly, small businesses have a strategic plan for their expansion and these security measures against cyber crimes can be included in the plan to ensure safety.