Here are 5 Reasons why cybersecurity is a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have” in today’s economic uncertainty.
1. Cyber crime is on the rise
Cybercrime is at an all-time high. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report 2021, a record 847,376 complaints of cyber-crime were reported to the FBI by the public, a 7 percent increase from 2020. Attackers know no national borders. Criminals, victims and technical infrastructure span multiple jurisdictions, bringing many challenges to investigations and prosecutions.
Attacks come in the form of denial of service (DoS) attacks, viruses, malware, spyware, or merely because of a phishing email link that an employee unintentionally clicked. When ignored or not prevented, cyber threats result in service or business discontinuity, data loss, system or application unavailability, blackouts, system failure, and network disruption.
2. Cybersecurity non-compliance can negatively impact your business
If customer data becomes exposed, its owners could have the full legal right to pursue compensation in court. This is a serious vulnerability that cybercriminals are constantly trying to exploit. However, no data protection regulation anywhere in the world expects your business to have a 100 percent perfect plan for fighting cybersecurity threats. However, your business is definitely expected to install all the necessary checks and balances that make up a resilient defense.
Should your business ever undergo a security breach and you fail to produce satisfactory evidence about undertaking preventive data security measures, you could find yourself in serious trouble. Two of the most common consequences you could face would be your cyber insurance provider’s refusal to pay for damages and a regulatory body initiating punitive action against your business.
3. Cybersecurity as a competitive advantage
Cybersecurity directly impacts business outcomes. From protecting your data and assets to ensuring operational compliance, and guarding against attacks, a strong security posture helps the enterprise to be perceived as more trustworthy and thus gain a competitive advantage.
Entrepreneurs, first and foremost, are concerned with the company’s growth and its profits. If you treat cybersecurity as an abstract entity, you risk losing the trust and support of customers.
4. Neglecting cybersecurity will cost more in the long run
Ignoring simple tasks such as installing cyber protection and educating employees on cybersecurity awareness can cost you more in the long run. With the economic downturn affecting all businesses, attackers are even more desperate to perpetuate their crimes. They are more motivated to steal from legitimate businesses which means they will work non-stop in looking for vulnerabilities in your products and networks.
Now more than ever, criminals are ramping up their malicious attacks on your employees by tricking them into granting access to internal data using social engineering techniques. These techniques and technologies become more sophisticated year by year—emphasizing the importance of consistent cybersecurity updates.
5. Cost-cutting on cybersecurity is simply not worth the risk
According to IBM Security’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach report, a cyber attack could cost a company an average of $9.44 million. This accounts for financial damage from theft of information, disruption of functions, ransomware demands, destruction of hardware and software, and corruption of data. The cost does not factor missed opportunities and reputational damage to the company’s brand, one of its greatest assets, from the loss of customer trust that can occur with cyber incidents.
How to stay protected when funds are running low
There are several ways to achieve a stronger security posture, even with limited resources. Here are a few ideas to start:
- Benchmark your current level of security against the five core principles of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. These principles are: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond & Recover. You can’t address deficiencies you aren’t aware of.
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible within the organization.
- Consider implementing zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) to harden networks and reduce cyber risk.
- Consider a Managed Security Operations Center subscription (SOC). This where security issues are dealt with on an organizational and technical level. It will normally comprise a team of skilled cybersecurity experts who develop and implement such security policies and use the necessary technology to monitor and respond to identified network threats. The SOC is composed of the three building blocks of people, processes and technology that go hand in hand to manage and enhance the organization’s security posture.
- Finally, governance and compliance provide a framework for tying these building blocks together.