Are businesses losing the war on cybercrime? One recent article on ZDNet says yes. The number of security breaches has risen by 11% just in the last year. This is costing businesses even more in lost revenue dealing with these kinds of attacks. It’s wasting their time and resources.
In 2016, Cybersecurity Ventures stated that by 2021, digital crime will cost businesses a total of $6 trillion. So far, this projection seems on point as hackers continue to chip away at businesses around the world. They don’t care about the damage they’re doing.
Right now, the Internet is flooded with sensitive data. From passwords to financial information – it’s out there. Some of it is secure, some of it isn’t. Either way, because of the sheer amount of data floating out there, cybercriminals have a greater chance to get what they want. And over time, it becomes harder to protect that data.
But the cyber security industry has also grown in response. People are fighting back. In 2018, the investment into cyber security totaled $37 billion in the US. However, it seems like it’s just not enough. When you look at small and medium-sized businesses – the targets of nearly 70% of cyber-attacks, according to SMB Group – cyber security isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.
In 2017, Harvard Business Review looked at the reasons behind why many businesses don’t take cyber security seriously. The results were interesting. It turned out, businesses don’t treat cyber security as “the ongoing process that it is.” Instead, it’s typically treated as a “finite problem that can be solved.” In other words, if you do the bare minimum for security today, the thinking goes, you’ll be protected tomorrow.
The problem is, as the Internet changes and evolves, so do the threats against its users. It’s pretty much impossible to set up a one-and-done security solution. If you were to set up something like an SMB “quick fix” and walk away, there’s a good chance your business would be the successful target of an attack within a matter of months.
This kind of thinking is far more costly than many business owners realize. A study by Akouto and Alpha Logistics found that businesses that underinvest in cyber security end up spending more on cyber security in the long run as they deal with attacks – up to 58% more. These costs don’t even include downtime or lost wages caused by data breaches. In short, recovering from an attack is FAR more expensive than investing in security now.
So what can you do to protect your business?
You can start with changing the way you think about cyber security. You have to accept that the threats are out there and will always be out there. But there are things you can do to minimize those threats.
Start with your people. For many businesses, especially those smaller than Fortune 500 companies, your biggest threat is right inside your organization. For those of us who are Internet-savvy, most would never dream of clicking on a scammy link or responding to a phishing email. We’ve been around the cyber block and we know what to look for.
However, people still fall for even the most basic scams. There will always be someone on your team who isn’t informed about these kinds of threats, or those who use obvious passwords. ZDNet points out that “only 26% of workers know what to do in the event of a breach” and that “7% openly acknowledge that they ignore or go around security policy.”
It pays to invest in a thorough and ongoing training program. It’s crucial to outline clear and firm security protocols so your team knows EXACTLY what to do. No one’s left guessing or clicking on anything they don’t recognize.
It’s also crucial to not go it alone. The single best way to stay on top of all things cyber security is to hire a highly experienced managed services provider who is up-to-date on the threats you’re facing. Having a partner means you don’t have to assume your business is protected. You’ll know your business is protected.