Cybersecurity, once viewed as an afterthought by many, must now become a priority for businesses of all sizes. While large organizations will continually be targeted by cybercriminals, small to medium-sized companies are also incredibly vulnerable to attack every year.
Due to the numerous technological advancements throughout the last decade, many companies are now storing, accessing and sharing their data via the cloud.
For this reason, every business must take the necessary steps to safeguard their sensitive data, or it could fall into the wrong hands. If your company has yet to take cybersecurity seriously, find out why in security software is essential in 2019.
Real and Growing Threats to a Business
There is a misconception that all any business will need is a reputable anti-virus software to fully protect its operations from a cyberthreat. While it might have been enough many years ago, it will no longer be able to defend your infrastructure from the increasingly advanced hacking tactics and technologies.
It is important to bear in mind that standard antivirus software is merely reactive and can only defend a business once a virus has entered the system. Due to the advanced hacking techniques executed daily by adaptable cybercriminals, it could be too late to defend your data once a hacker has gained access to a system. Hackers can also assess your infrastructure’s security gaps with a vulnerability scan.
Add to this the number of personal devices connected to your company’s wireless network (such as employees’ smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.), and an experienced hacker will be able to choose from several unsecured channels to gain entry.
The best way to combat the mounting advanced threats to your business could be endpoint security from McAfee, which has evolved from traditional antivirus software to provide its users with a comprehensive solution to defend against malware and developing zero day threats.
It should serve as the last barrier of protection for your business, protecting your network from being compromised. It can successfully detect, analyze, block and then contain any cyberattacks in action to strengthen your company’s defense against a cyberattack.
While endpoint protection can safeguard your devices onsite, it will be unable to protect your data if a laptop or hard drive is stolen or when sending data to an external network. If data is pivotal for your operations, you cannot afford to leave your business vulnerable to a potential breach.
Ensure your sensitive data is protected 24/7 by investing in both encryption and data loss prevention, which can protect your information on multiple devices on your network and when sent to the cloud, via emails, and more.
It is also essential to perform routine backups to restore any lost data in an instant should the worst happen, so your business will never suffer from downtime.
The Cost of Cybersecurity
Companies of all sizes cannot afford to ignore cybersecurity, which is rising at an alarming rate. According to CSO Online, ransomware damage costs exceeded a whopping $5 billion in 2017, which is 15 times higher than in 2015.
Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study also identified that the average post per stolen or lost records for each individual was $141, but this price will vary by country. In some nations, the figure is much higher, as the average cost is $225 in the United States and $190 in Canada. This can be financially devastating to your business, as it can impact your profit margin and reputation, and it could potentially open the door to legal action.
Small businesses are also under greater threat, as nearly half of all small businesses in the US experienced at least one cyberattack in 2018. Yet, 65% have failed to act following the cyber security incident due to budget challenges.
Many businesses will rely on various forms of mobile technology to power their operations. However, as it is relatively new, it is opening the door to many cybercrime opportunities.
Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are vulnerable due to:
- The loss potential (easy to drop or steal the small object, which could lead to a cyberattack)
- Their newness to the market
- Mobile malware that can embed via a Wi-Fi connection
- Internal data breaches (employees will have 24-hour access to company information)
Cybersecurity software solutions can, however, be installed across various devices to protect the company’s critical data from experiencing a breach.
Improve Consumer Trust and Brand Awareness
Modern clients and investors will judge a business by the technologies they employ. Integrating powerful security software into your operations could prove to be a strong selling point. For example, it can guarantee potential company stakeholders and clients that their sensitive data will be protected at all times.
In addition to providing peace of mind, it could lead to your customers and clients providing rave reviews for your brand, which can result in a positive reputation, extensive word of mouth and additional orders for your products or services. Greater cybersecurity could ultimately improve your brand’s reputation and provide a superb return on its investment.
Increasingly Vulnerable Sectors
While the finance and retail sectors are reportedly resilient to potential cyberattacks, many industries are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacking due to their failure to protect their infrastructure.
For example, as cybercriminals know healthcare providers are failing to protect their systems, the sector is becoming a primary cybercrime target, falling victim to malware, unauthorized network access, computer theft, and more.
The Department of Health and Human Services also reported that there were 42 reports of data breaches within the healthcare sector in April 2018 alone.
Other industries becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks include:
- Small to medium-sized businesses
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Government agencies
- The energy industry
- Higher education
- Maritime sector
You don’t need to have extensive technology knowledge or a large IT team to effectively increase your company’s cybersecurity. There are now many powerful security solutions that can protect your data, as well as your finances and reputation.
No longer can you rely on a traditional antivirus to prevent a cyberattack. Instead, you must seriously consider endpoint protection, data loss prevention, and cloud security.
By doing so, you can enjoy peace of mind that your critical information is protected at all times and can focus your time and attention on other areas of the business.