With the internet becoming a bigger and bigger part of business, more and more small businesses exist solely online. In the past, a small business usually connoted a mom and pop shop, a single grocery store or service provider, or maybe even a small law firm. However, due to the growth of the internet, a small business can now mean many things and can have many functions, including ecommerce, online service provider, or even a freelancer who runs their operations as a business online.
While these small business owners are certainly savvy, one thing they often do not take into account is digital security. Even if they just have a website and some social media accounts, small businesses often have more to lose than they think. A hack can be prohibitively expense to recover from, and small businesses are actually the most likely to be attacked. In order to not lose your reputation and suffer from a hack, a small business needs to be aware of what they can lose when it comes to a lack of cybersecurity.
1. Small businesses are the most likely to be targeted
Small businesses are often considered low-hanging fruit for hackers and cybercriminals. This is because they usually do not take any security measures, and for hackers, it is as easy as taking candy from a baby. To prevent this, you may to invest in security solutions to prevent this. Using encrypted email and a VPN when doing company business online can go a long way in preventing a cyberattack. If you find that your small business often does deals with other businesses, you may also want to consider a deal room. This software solution allows you to store sensitive documents and collaborate with another party when hammering out the specifics of a deal in a safe and secure manner.
2. Data breaches are very expensive
Small businesses have a particularly hard time recovering from a cyberattack. Not only do they often have to pay a ransom to recover their data, but they are also opening themselves up to lawsuits and other legal troubles by leaking a customer’s credit card information, social security number, or other identify information. In fact, it is estimated that a cyberattack on average costs a business over $200,000. Most small businesses will not be able to cover this cost and will be forced to close if they do not take their digital security seriously.
3. Your reputation is at risk
A business that is hacked is likely one that will have a damaged reputation. Even if it’s able to recover financially, it is unlikely that it will be able to recoup its reputation. Losing the trust of your customers is extremely difficult, and it can take years to find a new base of customers, and possibly a rebrand as well. This can be very costly, and it is better for small businesses to just focus on digital security instead of putting their reputation at risk.
Investing in your digital security is one of the most important acts that a small business owner can take. While it may seem unnecessary, the truth is that it is an insurance against a hacker damaging your business. While a determined hacker can likely bypass some of these basic digital security measures, the truth is that most will be deterred by a small business that even has a few efforts in place. As such, it is very much worth your time and hard-earned money to set up a digital security apparatus to protect your business online.