For businesses of all shapes and sizes, cybersecurity is a vital and growing concern. Last year alone, cybercriminals stole $3.5 billion from American businesses, according to the FBI.
This figure is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, as hackers use ever-more sophisticated methods to steal from individuals and companies.
When asking why is cybersecurity important for small businesses, the answer goes far beyond potential direct financial losses.
Insufficient cybersecurity can cost your business revenue, damage your reputation, and land you in serious legal trouble. So why is cybersecurity so important for small businesses? Read on to find out.
Small Businesses Are the New Targets
A fatal error than many small business owners make is to assume that they aren’t ‘important’ enough to attract the attention of criminals. However, this could not be further from the truth.
Cyberattacks now commonly target small businesses, as thieves recognize that smaller entities might not have the resources or protections in place to stay safe.
The average cost for individual small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack is $200,000. Can you afford to take a hit like that?
Cyberattacks Can Affect Every Aspect of Your Business
The importance of cybersecurity for businesses is far-reaching. There is a common misconception that criminals would only seek to target a specific part of your business infrastructure, such as your accounts.
However, this is only one small part of the target. Hackers are likely to target virtually every part of your IT systems, including email rolls, consumer data, social media, and more.
That is why it is essential to adopt integrated systems for cybersecurity that can cover all bases and protect your business fully.
The Reputational Damage Can Be Immense
So why do we need cybersecurity, beyond simply keeping our assets safe? One of the main costs of poor cybersecurity is not financial, but reputational.
If you are subject to a successful attack and your customers suffer a privacy breach, you will be held responsible.
If your company has a reputation for lax security, then you will lose loyal customers and struggle to attract new ones. The long-term costs of this will likely outweigh the initial costs of a successful attack.
Poor Cybersecurity Can Cause Legal Troubles
Cybersecurity importance for businesses also extends into the legal realm. First, there is the very genuine possibility that a customer or client will sue you for failing to protect your data.
Beyond this, there is the potential that government authorities will charge you with noncompliance and threaten to prevent you from operating.
In the US, different businesses and industries are subject to a range of cybersecurity requirements, designed to keep consumers safe. If you do not meet these requirements, you could be in big trouble.
Criminals Will Target Your Customers
Finally, it is worth emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity when it comes to your most important asset; your customers.
If your business suffers a data breach and your customers are put at risk, then you have failed to protect them. As a business owner, your customers should always be your number one priority.
That’s why taking the appropriate steps to strengthen your cybersecurity today is more important than ever.
Why Is Cybersecurity Important?
Now that you know the answer to the question “why is cybersecurity important for small businesses?”, it’s time to learn more.
Our detailed Business guides contain regularly-updated and expert information on all of the steps you can take to help your small business thrive in 2020.