Small Businesses At Even Greater Risk
Larger enterprises dominate the headlines when a data breach strikes. Target, Experian, Anthem, you name it. They have no trouble drawing media attention, whether they like it or not. Unsurprisingly, a business’ size is inversely proportional to the coverage its own breaches receive, which usually go under the radar as far as the average person is concerned. Of much more interest to these small and medium sized businesses, however, are their budgets, which normally amount to only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands or millions bigger companies can spend as a result of these incidents.
Even so, the costs can be high enough that, even a sum that would be considered pocket change by any of the aforementioned entities, can be a fatal wound to a smaller firm that lacks the same resources. Information is just as valuable to these organizations, no matter that they have fewer records. According to a study by Kaspersky Lab, the average cost to a SMB for a cybersecurity incident is $38,000, before factoring in indirect costs, like lost customers and reputational damage. Michael Bruemmer, a vice president at Experian and leader of its Data Breach Resolution Group, says that around 80 percent of small businesses that have a data breach go out of business within 18 months. In view of all this, it is reasonable that 59 percent of SMBs believe they are at a disadvantage compared to larger companies, states a Webroot SMB Threat Report, while 63 percent of IT decision makers expressed a lack of confidence in their capacity to protect their businesses.
Things are looking to change, however. More and more SMBs are looking to engage with third party security partners to pick up the slack. To manage the security services that they themselves lack the time and technological know-how to handle, 81 percent of IT decision makers also told Webroot that they were planning to increase their security budgets in 2016 by an average of 22 percent. Clearly, this signals a strong shift toward increasing investment that shows that small businesses have become more aware than ever that they face the same online vulnerabilities as the giants in the industry, and risk facing similar, if not worse, consequences for any failures in security safeguards. “Through a carefully considered mix of stronger cybersecurity approaches, increased spending, and management outsourcing,” said the study regarding SMBs, “they can deploy and maintain the same business security as larger enterprises, for a fraction of the cost.”
Is your business secure against cyber threats?