The majority of firms these days rely on their IT services as a critical backbone of their operations. However, while the web and associated services have undoubtedly helped streamline the way modern firms operate, they don’t come without risk.
Over the last decade or so, there has been an alarming rise in the number of cyberattacks, particularly attacks aimed at Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Unfortunately, there remains a worryingly prevalent notion among many small business owners that their firm isn’t profitable enough or is just simply too insignificant to fall victim to an attack.
In truth, the complete opposite is the case, and hackers are increasingly turning their attention to poorly protected SMEs that take a lax approach to their online security.
The Stats Speak for Themselves
Through 2021 alone, it was estimated around 61% of SMEs suffered a security breach. Perhaps even more alarmingly, figures suggest that, of those SMEs that are attacked, around two-thirds will go bust within the following six months. With the average cost of a data cyberattack in 2022 now suggested to be in the region of $4.35 million, it’s perhaps little wonder so many firms fold after a breach.
Simple Steps You Could Take Today to Protect Your Firm
There is a common misconception in the SME community that online security is simply too expensive or not required for the size of their firm. However, while it’s true that secure IT management used to be beyond the budget of many smaller businesses, today, there are many simple steps you can take that will bolster your security and make infiltration far less likely. Below are just a few simple precautions you should take to help mitigate the risks of an attack:
- Outsource your digital services to an expert provider: As mentioned above, securing a firm’s network and data used to be an expense many smaller companies simply couldn’t afford. However, with the advent of cloud technologies and managed IT solutions, even the most cash-strapped firm could start enjoying expert online protection at a fraction of the previous costs. By far the easiest and simplest way to protect your firm is to partner with a Managed Service Provider that will give you 24/7/365 support and protection maintained by security professionals.
- Pay to have a full IT audit: You may think your network is 100% secure but new risks appear almost daily and, if you haven’t updated your digital services in a while, there will likely be problems in terms of a hacker potentially gaining access. Paying an IT security expert to audit your current operations will help plug these potential loopholes and weak spots.
- Educate your staff: Unfortunately, humans are more often than not the weakest link when it comes to online protection and with hackers turning to increasingly more sophisticated methods like social engineering attacks (e.g. phishing), your firm will remain at risk if you don’t educate your staff to spot the risks. No matter how much you invest in online security, if your employees don’t understand the dangers of operating online, you will remain wide open to a potential attack.