In the modern landscape of hackers and business data, every business across the board needs a basic level of cybersecurity. Hackers are not picky predators. And some malware is set to attack anyone it crosses. Every day we hear about hospitals being held ransom and hotel client lists being stolen. There are keypad scanners placed at gas stations and payment information stolen from e-commerce sites. Every type of business is at risk from a landscape of hacking potential.
So why are small businesses ignoring cybersecurity precautions? In general, small businesses rarely care about cybersecurity. And certainly not with the gusto of addressing a real risk to the company. But with the cost of a cyber attack valued at $200,000 for all sized businesses, it’s no surprise that 60% of small businesses close 6 months after being hacked.
If your business is undervaluing cybersecurity, there are some easy-to-understand reasons why this might be. Most of all by people who don’t have time to do the research and to learn all-new security routines. Let’s dive into the common mistakes that lead to dangerous cybersecurity apathy in small businesses.
1. The ‘Too Small to Hack’ Fallacy
No business is too small to hack. In fact, 43% of cybersecurity hacks targeted small businesses. And more than half of all small businesses were targeted by at least one cybersecurity attack in the year 2019. We also know that the rate of cybersecurity has gone upwards. This is in response to the rapid remote-work changeover as well as increased business vulnerability during the pandemic.
This means that your small business is at risk, no matter how small it is. The fact is that hackers can gain something by hacking your systems. They can steal client information, bot-net your servers, or even extort you with ransomware. Big or small, vital or insignificant, hackers target everyone. In fact, they are doorknob rattlers by nature. This means any unsecured business immediately becomes a higher target simply because attacking them will be easier.
2. The ‘Not a Tech Company’ Fallacy
Another common mistake is assuming you are safe because of the mundane nature of your business. Many restaurants, venues, as well as retail locations just can’t consider their business model to have any data worth hiding, protecting, or stealing. Thinking, “Like, what are they going to take, my supply reorder forms?”
In reality, every modern business now handles data that hackers want: Identities and Digital Payments. If you take credit and debit cards, then hackers have a reason to hack you. If you accumulate the real names and addresses of your clientele or even simply keep an email list, you have something hackers want.
Hackers will steal payment information using key-cloning plates in gas stations. They know that small businesses have just enough business to make the hack worthwhile. Just one stolen identity or credit card must yield a profit.
3. Budget Has Stronger Priorities
Of course, running the business will always have your top priority. Rent, bills, and payroll always come first followed by insurance and customer care. IT consultants and outsourcing can cut into that vital margin. It’s easy for small business owners to simply put off paying for cybersecurity until it’s too late.
The unfortunate thing is that cybersecurity doesn’t work “out of the box”. So simply buying the right tech and setting it up DIY leaves default logins and configured routers that are a hacker’s dream. Default settings are the unlocked doors that hackers are looking for.
4. Don’t Have Time to Understand the Threats
Small business owners and managers are often pressed for time. This means limited time to research and understand anything beyond your core business model. When you are catering to customers and working with suppliers, cybersecurity is the last thing on your mind. It can feel like you don’t have any time to understand a high-tech kind of threat to your business.
However, the threats are real. Hackers are increasing their focus on stealing data from small businesses. Malicious viruses and malware increase the threat and, inconveniently, the amount a business owner needs to learn to stay safe.
5. Underestimate the Cost of a Breach or Ransom
How much does a hack really cost? If you process payments, then you are subject to the PCI-DSS (payment card industry – data security standard). Failing to prevent a breach of payment data can result in fines between $5,000 and $100,000.
If your company is subject to GDPR, fines can skyrocket above 20 million euros or up to 4% of worldwide turnover.
This can cost you your entire daily revenue. If your company computer system is disabled by a virus or by ransomware. And operating costs for every day that your system is down.
6. Not Sure Which Cybersecurity Services to Buy
Finally, small businesses often don’t know where to turn to resolve their cybersecurity concerns. It’s one thing to have “take care of cybersecurity” on your checklist. And an entirely different thing to know who to hire and which services to sign up for. If you don’t have a cybersecurity-knowledgeable technician on the team, then further research or consultation may be necessary.
Realistically, a small business should have industry-standard defense software and custom configuration of firewalls, routers, servers, devices, and platforms. If you have a website or mobile app, these must be secured. In addition, you will want a system of backups and a recovery plan.
Finding Cybersecurity for Your Small Business
If your small business is low on cybersecurity but you know it should be a priority, look no further. Our team here at tca SynerTech specializes in helping small businesses get up to the necessary levels of security to remain safe. Reducing your risk of critical and as costly data breaches. We will help you configure your network, choose the right tools, and achieve end-to-end cybersecurity. Without adding a lot of hassle to your already streamlined small business model. Contact us today to consult on the cybersecurity needs and solutions for your business.