The internet has been a huge asset for modern businesses in a wide range of ways. A major benefit is making it possible for companies of all types and sizes to offer their goods and services easily and efficiently to consumers worldwide, all without having to expand their physical footprint.
But in much the same way the internet opens up a world of opportunities to a business, it can also give hackers and fraudsters an inside line into a business and its private information. And as recent news reports have shown, when criminal actors hold a business’s information for ransom or commit other cybercrimes against it, the results can be extremely expensive or even fatal.
When setting up and optimizing their internet service, business owners should be sure to consider these seven reasons to make cybersecurity a major focus:
- Cybersecurity protects the business’s data: For many companies, their inside data is among their most important assets. Even smaller enterprises have plenty of valuable information that they would not want to fall into the hands of bad actors with ill intentions. Such sensitive data can range from details on proprietary processes and secret methods, to sales leads, financial data, and marketing materials. By ensuring that strong cybersecurity is implemented, business owners can help protect it all.
- Cybersecurity protects consumers’ data: Companies also have a responsibility to safeguard any personal data they have collected regarding their clients. Consumer data leaks can be very costly as the business can be held financially liable when a consumer’s data is compromised and leads to any damages. Among the information that cybercriminals most actively seek are consumers’ financial and payment details, medical data, and Social Security numbers. Robust cybersecurity is one key to protecting this information.
- Cybersecurity helps ensure compliance with industry regulations: Some types of businesses are subject to strictly enforced regulatory compliance measures. These are typically businesses that regularly deal with especially sensitive consumer information. Among them, enterprises in the medical field are required to follow HIPAA and HITECH regulations, financial businesses are regulated by SEC and FINRA rules, and many businesses that work with the U.S. government must maintain CMMC compliance. And one common thread among the regulatory requirements: strong cybersecurity.
- Cybersecurity helps prevent ransomware and spyware attacks: As recent news headlines demonstrate; today’s cybercriminals are more frequently employing schemes that use ransomware to prevent companies from accessing their own data or that use spyware to covertly obtain a business’s private information. Often the goal is to use the stolen information to leverage money from a company. With strong cybersecurity measures in place, companies can often prevent cybercriminals from ever gaining access to their networks.
- Cybersecurity helps ensure high network performance: Computer viruses and malware can substantially slow down a business’s computer network. On the other hand, having too many security and monitoring tools in place can also slow connections. But with the right mix of efficient and functional cybersecurity measures in place to identify security threats and keep them off the network, downtime and lagging can be avoided.
- Cybersecurity can eliminate unwanted expenses — According to news reports, nearly half of cyberattacks target small businesses and the average cost of a cyberattack for a company is now $200,000. In addition to the financial costs, cyberattacks can result in a lot of headaches and added work for business owners. But with the right cyber protections in place, businesses can drastically lower the risks of cybercriminals’ attempts to gain network access succeeding.
- Cybersecurity can salvage a company’s reputation: Lastly, in addition to the financial and productivity-related costs mentioned above, cyberattacks can also do great harm to a business’s reputation. This, of course, can affect the company’s bottom line moving forward. But by preventing such attacks with robust cybersecurity measures, a business can avoid harmful news stories and protect its reputation.
For small-business owners looking to ensure high levels of network security for their companies, these 10 cybersecurity tips from the FCC offer a great place to start. In addition, the FTC Business blog offers regular cybersecurity-focused articles, including a pair of recent blog posts: “5 Common Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out for in the Workplace” and “What Is a Managed Firewall and How Does It Benefit a Business?”
Seeking professional-grade cybersecurity services like a managed firewall, advance threat protection and hosted antivirus & spyware for your business? Visit ftc.net/business to explore all of FTC’s cybersecurity offerings, as well as other business-critical services such as Internet, Wireless, Voice and Security. And when you need local, expert IT assistance for your business, help is nearby and easy to reach without the expense of a full-time IT staff. Visit FTC IT Solutions for professional IT help in several tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services, Point-of-Sale and Hardware Sales.