Today’s cybercriminals are using more advanced technology than ever to get your data. Those malicious tools are becoming more sophisticated at a breakneck pace. To top it all off, new software developments are enabling these criminals to cast wider and wider nets, targeting businesses that, before, would have flown under their radar. Companies small and large, of every type, are being infiltrated by vicious cyber-attacks across the world every day.
It’s risky to cut costs on data security
Even knowing this, business owners are tempted to cut costs and corners. When you’ve never had a breach, data security can seem like a distant concern, especially for a limited budget. But regardless of which digital barriers you put in place to protect your business, you can bet on one thing: One day, your security will be tested by an attack. Whether or not the hackers punch through could mean the difference between your company shutting down for good — as 60% of small businesses do in the six months following a cyber-attack, according to the Denver Post — and remaining solvent and secure in your position.
Should your security be done in-house or outsourced?
When you’re struggling to stay afloat or simply wanting to be a savvy spender, you may think the best way to lock down your data is to put one of your staff on the task or to do it yourself. Sure, your team can conduct hours of research searching for inexpensive security. And you’ll almost certainly find something cheap with good reviews and a decent track record. You’ll figure out how to install the software across your system, complete with firewalls, server protection, antivirus, and maybe a bell and a whistle or two. Perhaps you’ll even hold a meeting to educate your staff on the dos and don’ts of cybersecurity. “Use intricately constructed passwords,” you’ll tell them. “Don’t click suspicious links in your email.”
Then, after a few days of fiddling with settings and ensuring the security software is properly in place, you’ll forget about it altogether. After all, it’s already installed, and you’ve checked to make sure there aren’t any gaps in the system. It’s not something you need to constantly monitor.
A year later
Your business has doubled in size. You’re finally reaping profits. Best of all, a recent news story has brought your company into the public eye, and brand-new leads are contacting you every day. For the first time since the company’s inception, you can breathe easily. Then, one Monday morning, you log into your computer. For a second, everything seems to be normal, until an innocent-looking pop-up fills your screen. “Attention!” an eerie robotic voice barks from your speakers, “Your documents, photos, databases, and other important files have been encrypted!”
Thinking it’s a hoax, you click into your server drive. To your dismay, you really are locked out of everything. So, palms sweating, you read the rest of the pop-up. It provides instructions to install the deep web browser Tor as well as an address for you to visit. When you go there, you learn that in order to recover all your data, including the credit card information of your customers, you’ll need to dish out $50,000 in bitcoin.
A year ago, you couldn’t afford adequate cybersecurity. Can you afford $50,000 in cash today?
This happens more than you realize
Identical situations are unfolding every day, with people exactly like you. CNBC reported that across the previous 12 months, half of all small businesses had been infiltrated by malicious hackers. “Cybersecurity is clearly a concern that the entire business community shares, but it represents an especially pernicious threat to smaller businesses,” wrote the Securities and Exchange Commission. “The reason is simple: small and midsize businesses are not just targets of cybercrime; they are its principal target.” Cheapo security solutions might be fine for a lone browser surfing the web at home, but they are shockingly inadequate resources on which to base the entire success of your company, your livelihood, and the livelihood of your employees.
Frankly, it’s irresponsible to lock your data behind a flimsy $5 firewall. Invest in robust cybersecurity solutions and secure the future of your company. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we can help, feel free to reach out. We are always happy to help. If you are interested in learning more tech tips check out our youtube channel.