Getting an adequate IT budget can be an uphill battle when times are good, but during an economic downturn like we are currently experiencing, hidden necessities like cybersecurity may be seen as optional by some business leaders. This is not the case.
Cybersecurity Is Not Optional
Cyberattacks don’t slow down when the economy does — in fact, they increase. Because cybercriminals take advantage of the situation to manipulate employees, cybersecurity is even more important during times of economic uncertainty.
❌ A Cyberattack Can Hurt Your Business’s Reputation
Your customers and investors could see a cyberattack as a sign that your business is careless with its information or finances. This will make them think twice before giving money to your company. A cyberattack may also scare away job applicants. The damage done due to a cyberattack could have a lasting impact on your reputation too. People don’t forget when their data has been compromised.
❌ A Cyberattack Can Cost Your Business Directly
According to a report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average data breach cost for businesses with fewer than 500 employees is $2.98 million, and the average cost per breached record is $164.
The direct costs of a cyberattack can include:
- Fixing the immediate damages
- Paying the ransom for ransomware
- Providing free credit monitoring
- Handling increased customer service calls
- Lowering your prices or giving discounts
- Paying fines
❌ A Cyberattack Can Come With Hidden Costs
At the very least, a cyberattack will disrupt your business operations. Systems could be down for a while, and while they are, productivity and employee morale will decrease. Customers and clients may not be able to contact you and go to your competitors instead.
Five Steps for a Better Cybersecurity Strategy
Here are five steps you can take to bolster your cybersecurity strategy.
1. Access Your Risk Strategy
New cyber threats are emerging daily, and your business needs to be prepared for them or risk being hit by a cyberattack. Reviewing your security strategy can improve focus on the most important threats, reduce budgets, and lead to better outcomes with fewer resources. If you don’t know where to start, enlist the help of a managed services provider. With security advisory services, businesses can get expert input into their security policies and infrastructure.
2. Audit Your Technology
If your IT team is like most, licenses and subscriptions take up a large part of their budget. Reviewing your technology stack, new tools available in the marketplace, and what your team actually needs to function is the next step. While your initial reaction in an economic downturn may be to reduce your technology footprint, cybersecurity is the one area you shouldn’t skimp.
3. Outsource Responsibilities
Few IT teams have enough staff to weather layoffs without issues. Especially when you consider the amount of time and money it takes to hire and onboard new talent. Outsourcing your IT functions to a managed service provider can help you fill these short-term gaps without risking the security of your business.
4. Ensure Regulation Compliance
Depending on what type of data your company stores, you may need to determine if your methods of using, accessing, and storing your customer’s data are compliant with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, SOC2, or the FTC Safeguards Rule. Using compliant IT services and solutions, not only makes your environment more secure but also keeps you compliant with industry regulations.
5. Make Cybersecurity Everyone’s Responsibility
The most effective parts of a cybersecurity strategy don’t require a large budget. A mindset that emphasizes cyber-resilience and security awareness training is your most important cybersecurity tool. When every employee understands the cyber risks present, they can help be a security advocate and use good cyber hygiene practices.
TPx can help businesses stay secure through these unknown economic times. Contact a TPx representative today to learn how we can help improve your cybersecurity.