Cyber incidents cost nearly $1 trillion to the global economy every year, according to a report conducted by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Small companies, in particular, remain susceptible to cyberattacks that they cannot recover from.
But the biggest source of damage to these companies comes from the loss of revenue. It takes years to cultivate customer trust and cyberattacks cause a fatal blow to all that hard work. The rising threat of cyberattacks underscores the importance of investing resources into preventing cyberattacks and training personnel.
Let’s look at the primary benefits of investing in cybersecurity solutions for SMEs.
Secure Customer Loyalty and Trust
It takes years to build brand loyalty and customer trust. When a cyberattack involves customer data or disrupts services, their trust in your brand gets uprooted – almost permanently. To put things in perspective, Sony – a corporation with a multi-billion dollar valuation – is still reeling from the PSN hack of 2011.
Cyberattacks that result in identity thefts are very likely to generate widespread attention from media outlets and earn the ire of customers. This is especially true for businesses operating in sensitive markets and industries such as finances, where a single attack can undo the faith in an entire market.
Small businesses can invest in cybersecurity and use their measures to protect consumer data as a unique selling point. Something as simple as an SSL certificate, two-factor authentication, and a ‘trust’ stamp from a payment gateway can cultivate customer trust. These minor improvements in cybersecurity don’t break the bank and demonstrate your commitment to customer data security.
Mitigate Risks Associated with Remote Employees
Nearly every business has pivoted to a hybrid work environment, with most employees working from home. While remote working can greatly save office space and reduce your overhead costs, it can greatly increase your organization’s attack vectors.
This means there are more opportunities for sensitive and confidential information to be leaked.
A holistic approach to cybersecurity solutions for SMEs also considers employees working from home. One proposed solution is to deploy endpoint security management software.
End-to-end encryption can also cover all the traffic generated by specific endpoints you are protecting.
By providing remote employees with regular cybersecurity awareness training, organizations can take a step toward keeping their systems and data secure.
Prevent Zero-Day Attacks
Zero-day attacks take advantage of known vulnerabilities within systems to steal data. Cybercriminals can continue to exploit the system until the vulnerability is patched. For obvious reasons, there isn’t a foolproof way of guarding against this threat since the vulnerability doesn’t come to light until it’s too late.
However, businesses can utilize machine learning systems in combination with threat intelligence to identify possible zero-day attacks.
A cybersecurity system can monitor all systems within your enterprise to detect and prevent the latest threats before they occur.
Reduce Downtime to Boost Productivity
Any downtime caused by a cybersecurity breach can be costly to small businesses. One estimate shows that a single hour of downtime can cost hundreds of thousands to a business, depending on the industry.
Businesses, especially small organizations, have processes that require round-the-clock operation. This includes marketing campaigns, emails, data generation, and customer services.
Some viruses can cause irreparable damage to business systems. Cybersecurity solutions for SMEs can prevent these damages and protect organizations from the loss of critical data by securing it for long-term accessibility.
A cybersecurity service provider will implement a backup system that will allow you to stay operational in case of a data breach or power outage. We also recommend regularly testing your infrastructure to ensure that all your software, hardware, and servers are working.
Malware and viruses disrupt workflows, networks, and overall business productivity. This can lead to downtime and even bring your business to a screeching halt.
Implementing cybersecurity solutions for SMEs can improve with the help of automated backups (as discussed earlier), firewalls, and virus scanning. Part of any cybersecurity solution is to keep employees in the loop about the latest scams, suspect links, email phishing, and others. This can reduce downtime and improve productivity.
Regulations exist to protect the end-user from predatory business practices, including unintentional harm because of cyber incidents. The most prominent regulatory agencies include PCI DSS, SOX, GDPR, and HIPAA.
The GDPR, in particular, has some of the toughest privacy laws in the world that even the likes of Alphabet and Apple are fearful of. GDPR compliance is mandatory for businesses that sell services to consumers in the European Union.
Implementing a cybersecurity service can go a long way in helping your business become more resilient against data breaches, malware, and viruses. Cybersecurity solutions for SMEs are a major stepping stone toward achieving regulatory compliance. This is especially true for businesses that exist in sensitive industries such as healthcare, finance, and logistics.
Improved Data Management
Data management serves as the foundation of many marketing strategies. Losing critical data can force organizations to start over from zero. This is why organizations should improve their data management practices.
Cybersecurity solutions can assist in data management, improve operational efficiency, and reduce the likelihood of data breaches.
Prevent Unnecessary Expense
Your organization likely keeps an eye on every dollar carefully. But there’s one cost that only gets accounted for after the fact: a cyberattack.
Besides halting your operations, a cyberattack may require you to pay ransomware to recover your data. In addition, you may also have to pay regulatory fines as well as claims by affected customers. A cyberattack can quickly turn into a significant expense for your business.
Investing in a cybersecurity service provider can be a cost-saving measure. Most SMEs don’t adopt cybersecurity solutions because of budgetary limitations. This is a key reason why cyber criminals attack ambitious businesses that are growing rapidly.
Investing in cybersecurity solutions for SMEs is important to prevent and minimize the damage caused by a cyberattack.
Finally, cyberattacks also leave you wide open to lawsuits. Some of these lawsuits could cause irreparable reputational damage that you may never recover from. This is why a comprehensive cybersecurity service is needed to improve your cybersecurity posture.