If you are a small business owner, chances are you’ve never given much thought to cyber security. You may believe that security becomes a concern only when you’ve expanded enough to work in big offices with hundreds of employees.
You’re not alone. 83% of small business owners believe that cyber security is not a concern for them. This means that when attacks do happen against small business owners, the consequences are costly and devastating.
Cyber security is not just for big businesses. Unless your business is just a lemonade stand on your neighborhood corner, you are still prone to a cyber attack.
Let’s look at more reasons why small business owners should care about cyber security.
1. Small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber attacks
If your business employs more than 20 employees or if you employ remote workers, you are already at an increased risk for cyber attacks.
Small businesses are prime targets for hackers precisely because they know that small business owners do not have cyber security in their top priorities.
You might think that hackers would prefer big businesses because there is better money in them, but those big businesses have sophisticated cyber security measures in place precisely to ward off hackers.
Hackers are opportunists. They’re more likely to target easy money even if there’s a lower payout. Smaller businesses fit this bill easily because of their barely-existing cyber security.
Small businesses are often content with consumer-grade cyber security software. That means the kind of software that most people use for their personal laptops. The problem with this is that small businesses handle way more data than the average person does.
If you are a small business owner who uses entry-level protection software, you’re basically protecting enormous amounts of data using software that’s meant to protect only one person.
Small businesses also tend not to have dedicated IT personnel. All these circumstances taken together create a giant bull’s eye that attracts even amateur hackers who have a little hacking capability.
Additionally,95% of credit card breaches come from small businesses. When this occurs, it can have a catastrophic effect on your customers’ trust.
Data breaches do not care about the nature of the business or the status of the victims. That is why small businesses should care about cybersecurity as much as big businesses do.
2. Having a security system improves your professional appearance
As a small business, you may not have the budget to compete with the marketing of the top companies. That means that you should make every effort you can to polish your professional appearance to your customers.
A small business that shows that they care for cyber security creates a professional impression that customers appreciate. Trust goes a long way when you own a small business, so if you go the extra mile to show customers that their data is secure, that gives you many points in their eyes.
3. Cyber security protects you from devastating financial losses
Remember when we said that most small business owners don’t have cyber security as one of their top concerns?
Well, 60% of small business owners who end up falling victim to cyber attackers eventually go out of business within six months because of the costs involved.
This is because small businesses operate on a smaller budget. That budget is usually not enough to cover the costs of repairing the damage caused by a cyber attack.
On average, a cyber attack costs a business about $9,000.00. That’s not exactly an amount of money that small businesses have ready to spend at any time.
On the other hand, a cyber security system costs much less than that. By investing in a quality cyber security system, you give yourself and your customers peace of mind.
You also protect your business from incurring financial losses that may cause you to close your business.
On that note, cyber security is not just about prevention. It also involves damage mitigation. So when getting a cyber security system, make sure to get cyber insurance as well. That way, all your bases are covered, from damage prevention to damage control.
4. A cyber attack also threatens your business’s reputation
Money is not all that is lost in a cyber attack. In addition to paying thousands of dollars to fix the damage caused by a data breach, you’ll also have to worry about rebuilding the trust that your consumers had in your business.
This means that even if you could pay off all the costs brought about by a data breach, you’ll still have a lot of work to do to get to where your business was before.
Small businesses do not usually have a dominant market share compared to their bigger counterparts. When big businesses suffer a data breach leading to loss of trust, they can quickly rebuild themselves because of how many clients they have.
The large numbers end up in favor of bigger businesses.
If you are a smaller business, you don’t have these bigger numbers working for you. Losing hundreds of customers can be devastating for your business because your market share and exposure are already much smaller to begin with.
When your business suffers a significant reputational loss, it can be difficult or even impossible to bounce back.
That’s why small businesses invest a lot of effort in maintaining ties with customers to keep them coming back. All the years you spent nurturing your customer relationships could disappear in the blink of an eye with just one cyber attack.
Investing in cyber security is a major preventive step to ensure that your hard work does not go to waste.
To sum it all up, cyber security is a major concern for everyone. If individuals ought to care about their online security, so too should small businesses.
But that doesn’t mean you can settle for entry-level protection. Even if you’re a small business, you should invest in quality cyber security that fits your business’s size and needs.
You don’t need to get the complex setups that Fortune 500 companies do. There are plenty of affordable cyber security systems tailored for small businesses.
By putting some thought into cyber security, you’re showing your customers that you are up-to-date with the modern risks of doing business. You also protect yourself from losses that could put you out of business.