Should Your Business Invest in Cybersecurity?

Woman making an online purchase using her credit card and phone: Should Your Business Invest in Cyber Security?

Having an online presence is crucial for small business owners. In a world where every consumer has a sophisticated computer sitting right in their pocket, a company without a footprint on the web is fighting an uphill battle. But having an online presence creates a new problem – protecting clients from malware, hackers, and other unsavory online attacks.

Failing to protect client data and personal information can leave a stain on your business reputation, especially if you’re a small business owner without the deep pockets for a PR campaign. Today, we’ll look at some typical types of attacks and ways businesses can protect themselves online.

Common Types of Cyber Attacks

Why are cyber attacks so common? Well, for starters, they work. According to cybersecurity giant Cisco, more than half of all successful cyber breaches net the attacker a windfall of $500,000 or more. Not bad for a dishonest day’s work. Once an attacker breaches a network, preventing malicious activity is difficult. Awareness and prevention are key; here are some of the most common cyber attacks.

  • Phishing – A phishing attack is usually perpetrated through email, with a hacker impersonating a common or trusted contact. A corrupted attachment or link is set through the email in hopes that the recipient will trust the sender and click or open it without much thought. Once opened, the attacker gains access to the recipient’s network or personal data.
  • Malware – A broad category of cybercrime, malware can be spyware, ransomware, adware, or viruses. An unsuspecting victim may unknowingly install malware through a malicious link or file and accidentally give cybercriminals access to personal data like credit data, bank statements, or PINs.
  • Denial-of-Service – A DoS attack is a nasty little trick cybercriminals use to overload a network by flooding it with non-stop fake requests. This bogs down server bandwidth and makes websites and apps unusable on the server unusable. Ransom is then demanded to relinquish the attack.
  • SQL Injection – SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it’s how search bars find the proper webpages when asked. An SQL injection replaces the search term with malicious code to fool the server into revealing information personal data.

Benefits of Strong Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an investment in your business. And like any investment, the amount of money and time needed will depend on the individual business. A small corner restaurant probably doesn’t need to spend the same amount on cybersecurity as a 1000-person data analytics firm. But whatever the scope, a strong cybersecurity system has several benefits.

Consumer Satisfaction

Keeping clients happy is the primary goal of any company and protecting their privacy is a must. Cyberattacks can compromise customer emails, addresses, phone numbers, and even sensitive bank and credit card information. A reputation is hard to repair once trust has been broken and clients who have their personal information stolen under your watch will likely take their business to your competition.

Financial Safeguards

Protecting client information is crucial, but your information and data also need protection. Business owners need cybersecurity to guard sensitive financial data like invoices, credit card numbers, bank accounts, and digital intellectual property that may be vulnerable to corporate espionage.

Employee Protections

The employees at your company also deserve protection from malicious cyberattacks. Protecting employees benefits both them and your business since private company information can be safely exchanged, and employees feel they’re being properly taken care of.

Keep Your Business Protected with Sufficient Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals don’t care if you’re a small fish in a big pond – if there’s a vulnerability to exploit in your company’s website or network, they’ll find a way to take advantage. Cybersecurity isn’t something every company needs to break the bank for, but adequate protection is required for both safety and peace of mind. If clients and employees don’t feel their private information is being safeguarded, they may not be your client or employee for very long.

If you’re unsure how to protect your business properly, consider starting with some of the free services offered by the federal government. The FCC has a cybersecurity checklist that small businesses can use to stay on top of trends and new threats. The Small Business Administration (SBA) also has information on best practices for training employees on how to protect themselves from suspicious documents or communications.

Get the Help You Need at GLMP

As you can see, not every company will need the same level of protection, but these resources will serve as a good starting point. Consider the size and scope of your business and develop a consistent cybersecurity plan. A cyberattack can be a time-consuming and expensive situation to resolve and a little planning now could save your company a lot of money in the long run.

If you’re interested in learning more about what you can do to protect your money and investments, contact our team at Good Life Financial Advisors of Mt. Pleasant. We can’t wait to help you work towards your financial goals!