As a small business owner, you might think that you are an unlikely target for cybercriminals, assuming they are more likely to target larger organizations. This line of thinking is, unfortunately, far from the truth. Small businesses are one of the most popular targets for cyber-attackers. This guide is here to help small business owners learn why cybersecurity is so important to their company’s long-term health.
Threats to Small Businesses are Increasing
Cyber-attacks used to be a somewhat obscure and irrelevant consideration for small business owners, but this is, unfortunately, no longer the case. The rise in cyber-attacks has increased dramatically in recent years. It is not only the volume of attacks that has increased but the types of cyber-attacks too. The increasing volume of cyber-attacks is not expected to slow anytime soon, so small business owners need to protect themselves against this ever-growing threat.
Protect Your Business
Cybersecurity is, first and foremost, an important means for small businesses to protect themselves. Without adequate cybersecurity, small businesses can face a large range of potentially catastrophic consequences. As Proofpoint explains, data loss alone can have a very big impact on the health of a business. Losing business data can damage a company’s credibility and competitive advantage.
Cyber-attacks are a very big concern for businesses of any size; however, the effects can be particularly devastating for small businesses. This is because, unlike larger organizations, small businesses do not have the infrastructure and resources to fall back on. The effects of a successful cyber-attack can lead to the failure of a small business.
Protect Your Customers
The loss of customer data can have a very big impact on your customer relationships. Studies have found that online shoppers take privacy very seriously, with many consumers reporting that they would be loyal to a business for years if it took privacy seriously. Not only can a breach in customer data irreversibly damage customers’ relationships it can also have legal repercussions. Businesses that are believed to have not done enough to protect customer information could face legal repercussions for a data breach. Small businesses can find it difficult, if not impossible, to recover from the legal repercussions of customer data loss.
Small Businesses are a Target
Small businesses are often seen as a target for cyber-attackers, and this is because small businesses tend to have weaker cybersecurity protections than larger businesses. Small businesses might be the focus of the cyber-attack, or they can be used as a means to target a larger organization. To understand how cyber-attackers can target small businesses to gain access to a larger organization, consider the Target attack. In 2013 Target was the focus of an attack, in which cybercriminals gained access to 70 million people’s personal information. The cyber-attacks were able to access the information they needed not by hacking Target directly but rather via the small air conditioning businesses that worked with Target. As a small business, you are very likely to be a target of cyber-attackers; it is, therefore, vital that you take the appropriate measures to protect your business, your customers, and your partners.