Because small business owners have to stretch every dime to keep their companies on a path toward growth, it may be difficult for them to think about investing in cybersecurity—in strategic safeguards for technology. These safeguards are often out of sight and out of mind, and so is the return on that investment, which amounts to, well, the continuation of business as usual.
But business as usual can be a beautiful thing. Consider the alternative. For instance, what would a breach of customer data look like for you?
First, customers with compromised data might have legal and financial recourse against your company. And, depending on your industry, you could face fines under regulations such as GLBA (financial services) or HIPAA (healthcare). For example, in 2010, the theft of a single unencrypted laptop cost a neurology practice in Massachusetts $1.5 million in HIPAA fines.
Beyond financial costs, a data breach would involve significant reputational and operational costs. Breaches damage the trust between business and customer, which certainly affects the bottom line. Furthermore, breaches involve damage control, which may take staff away from normal activities.
And that’s just the scenario of a data breach. Other risks include malware or disasters that take your IT systems down and threaten your productivity. It’s easy to take for granted, but business continuity provided by cybersecurity yields high value for small businesses—and that value grows exponentially as we rely more and more on technology and cybercriminals become more and more sophisticated.
Guest Post Written by Jason Hardy, 3n1media