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Prioritizing Cybersecurity: The Cost of Cybercrime vs. Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Last updated: 11 May 2023

In the digital age, businesses  must prioritize cybersecurity and actively combat cybercrime for their ongoing success. With an increasing small businesses moving online, the need for adequate cybersecurity measures has never been more significant. However, cybersecurity doesn’t come cheap, and small businesses often overlook it due to the associated costs.

Let’s delve deeper into the comparison between cybercrime and cybersecurity. This blog will examine recent statistics on both topics and offer solutions for small businesses looking to shield themselves from potential digital threats.

The Cost of Cybercrime

The relentless force of cybercrime looms over businesses across the globe, with experts forecasting a jaw-dropping $10.5 trillion in financial devastation by 2025. Businesses suffer from the increased risk of malevolent cyber threats like phishing scams, malware intrusions, and ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals continually evolve their tactics, making it increasingly challenging for businesses to protect themselves.

By creating skillfully-crafted phishing strategies, malicious cyber hackers can trick unsuspecting users into revealing their data, including usernames and passwords. These attacks can be challenging to spot, making them a significant threat to businesses. According to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 36% of all data breaches involve phishing.

Malware infiltration is an infamous online criminal activity designed to maliciously penetrate a computer or network with destructive code. This software can steal sensitive information, monitor user activity, or damage systems. According to the 2021 Cybersecurity Insights Report by Kaspersky, an average of 1,919,978 malicious objects were detected daily in 2020. Recent studies unveil a striking trend in cybercrime, where Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) emerge as the top target, constituting a staggering 48% of all incidents.

Several different factors contribute to the cost of cybercrime. Remediation costs include investigating the attack, restoring systems and data, and notifying customers and stakeholders of the breach. It can quickly increase, especially if the business has to bring outside experts to help with the investigation.

The estimated remediation cost for small businesses is approximately $200,000, as reported in Kaspersky’s 2020 Cybersecurity Insights Report. This process includes covering the cost of researching the intrusion, reviving systems and data, carrying out additional safety protocols, and notifying customers and partners.

In addition to the cost of remediation, cybercrime can lead to lost revenue. When a business’s systems are compromised, or data is lost, operations can be severely hindered for days, weeks—even months. This can result in lost sales, missed deadlines, and reduced productivity. Limited resources make small businesses susceptible to greater risk, leaving them in a precarious position that could have adverse effects for years.

Finally, cybercrime can also result in legal and regulatory fees. If your business experiences a data breach, you must abide by various legal standards, including the GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA. Neglecting to comply with these regulations can result in severe financial penalties or worse.

The Cost of Cybersecurity

As cybercrime’s financial impact becomes increasingly hard to ignore, it comes as no shock that organizations are allocating significant resources toward implementing robust security protocols. Recent research from Markets and Markets projects that the global cybersecurity market could reach $248.26 billion by 2023—a notable jump from 2018’s figure of $153.16 billion. But when comparing and contrasting these costs with those associated with cybercrime, what is the actual expense?

Investing in comprehensive cybersecurity measures can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses. The consequences of failing to make a secure environment for your company can be financially devastating—the National Cyber Security Alliance has reported that cyberattacks on smaller businesses have caused losses ranging from $84,000 to an immense sum of $148,000 per instance. As companies become bigger and more intricate, these costs only continue growing. That being said, companies must prioritize investing in cybersecurity measures before they suffer an attack.

To optimize protecting your thriving small business, experts suggest dedicating 5-10% of your valuable IT budget towards robust security solutions. This means investing between $500 and $5,000 in malware protection and data backup services. For more comprehensive services like threat intelligence, penetration testing, and incident response, the cost can rise from $ 10K to $20K annually. In addition to these costs, businesses may also need to invest in personnel or additional hardware and software solutions. Ultimately, the cost of cybersecurity is an investment that can help protect businesses from the potentially devastating costs of cybercrime.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Limited resources and unfamiliarity with cyber security protocols make small businesses especially vulnerable to malicious attacks. Regrettably, the Better Business Bureau demonstrates that small organizations are more likely than larger ones to experience a breach in security. Even more troubling is that if cyber criminals successfully breach a business’ safety measures, there’s about an alarming 60% chance that the company will be out of operation within half a year.

As more small businesses move online, they must take adequate cybersecurity measures to protect themselves. Businesses must be proactive against the ever-growing array of cybersecurity threats they face. Proper cybersecurity measures can protect a business’s sensitive information and build customer trust.

Investing in security measures can help protect businesses from malicious actors and reduce their risk of suffering a breach. Considering the immense monetary damage a cyber-attack can cause, allocating funds toward cybersecurity becomes a sensible decision. Companies can secure themselves from emerging cyber threats by evaluating their security needs and investing in appropriate solutions for their business.

How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves from Cyber Threats

Small businesses can take several steps to protect themselves from cyber threats. Safeguard your business from cybercrime by utilizing these effective cybersecurity practices for small businesses:

  1. Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices: Companies should invest in training their staff on the most advanced cybersecurity methods to ensure the safety of customers and business information. This training can include educating employees on identifying phishing emails, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, and using strong passwords.
  2. Implement Strong Password Policies: Businesses should implement strong password policies, including password complexity requirements and regular password changes. This can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information through weak or easily guessable passwords.
  3. Proactively Guard Your Software & Systems: Employing the latest security updates is essential for companies to stay ahead of online thieves and ensure their software, systems, and data are secure. This proactive strategy can help protect against potential vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit.
  4. Make Use of Anti-virus and Anti-malware software: Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are designed to protect critical business data from being compromised by detecting, blocking, and eradicating malicious software. These formidable defenses swiftly identify and eliminate malicious programs, preventing irreversible damage to your systems.
  5. Implement Firewall Protection: Businesses should implement firewall protection to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. This can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and block malicious traffic.
  6. Backup Data Regularly: Small businesses should regularly back up their data to protect against data loss due to cyber-attacks. To guarantee your backup information stays secure and uncorrupted, it is vital to store it safely in a remote spot, away from the risk of cyberattacks.
  7. Use Two-Factor Authentication: Adding an extra layer of protection with two-factor authentication to your account logins is key for preventing unwanted access. This includes requiring users to provide a unique code sent directly to their phone, thus ensuring that only authorized individuals are allowed in.

In conclusion, the cost of cybercrime versus cybersecurity is a significant issue that small businesses need to address. Small businesses must take adequate cybersecurity measures to protect themselves from cyber threats. While implementing proper cybersecurity measures can be costly, not investing in cybersecurity can be far more significant. Investing in reliable protection for your company is an investment toward its longevity and success.

At BlackPoint IT, we specialize in helping small businesses protect themselves from cyber threats. Our cybersecurity experts have the knowledge and know-how to provide small businesses with the most appropriate security measures. We specialize in security assessments, vulnerability management, and incident response services—all crafted around your unique business needs. Contact us today!

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