Every time you get in your car, you are taking the risk of being in a car accident.
When we hop in our wheeled vehicles to fly down narrow strips of asphalt at astronomical speeds, many factors are simply beyond our control.
So we have to focus on the factors within our control.
- making sure your vehicle is in good repair
- Buckling your seatbelt
- driving safely
- Insuring your vehicle
- Insuring your health.
Are all ways you make the best of the situation so that, should an accident occur, you took all the precautions you reasonably could, and the blame is not on you.
If you made it through all that, you might be thinking, “Yeah, driving’s dangerous. Thanks for rubbing it in. What’s your point?”
Much like driving is a necessary hazard of our time, doing anything online is dangerous.
No Longer “If” But “When”
If you are connected to the internet you are putting yourself at risk of losing personal information, money, and even physically losing the device you’re using to access the internet.
Every time you or an employee is on your business network, your entire company could be at risk.
This sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?
But think about it.
In the same way we put an arm around our kid who had her first accident or got his first ticket and say, “That was bad, but it happens to everyone. I’m glad you’re okay.”
Data breaches are becoming a normal thing. They happen to everyone. It’s no longer if but when.
Some of you are still thinking, “But my business is small. Hackers don’t care about small businesses.”
According to Embroker:
“Cyber-attacks on all businesses, but particularly small to medium-sized businesses, are becoming more frequent, targeted, and complex. According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves.”
You know the statistic, “Every 8 seconds a baby is born”
That’s cheerful and fun to think about. New little bundle of joy probably yelling his or her way into this great big world.
Here’s another one. It’s estimated in 2021 that every 11 seconds a business has fallen victim to a cyber-attack.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Every 11 seconds.
And remember how 43% of those are aimed at small to medium-sized businesses?
Why Try to Delay the Inevitable?
Some people will say,
“Well if it’s inevitable, why should I try to stop it? That seems like a waste of time and money.”
Yes. There are things beyond your control that cause your network to get breached.
But does that mean you’re going to discard your seatbelt and choose to drive a vehicle that’s wheels are falling off?
Or are you going to take all the safety precautions you can, so that if an accident or a malicious attack happens, you are innocent in the eyes of the law and have a clear conscience knowing you did your best?
Refusing to update your devices, carry cyber insurance, implement appropriate antivirus, backups, encryption, and employee training, is becoming an act of negligence. And if you get breached having not taken these precautions you will be guilty in the eyes of the law.
Are You Personally Prepared to Carry That?
But also, think about it from a personal standpoint. Who else is in the car with you? If you are managing a company, your neck is not the only one on the line. Your employee’s information, your client’s information, even vendors, all of these people are at risk if you choose to drive the uninsured car that’s wheels are falling off.
And if you wreck, they are going to be injured too.
The global average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million/breach, according to the Cost of a Data Breach report 2020 released by IBM and the Ponemon Institute. Companies in the United States had the highest average total cost at $8.64 million/breach, followed by the Middle East at $6.52 million.
That’s a lot of valuable personal information getting out to the WRONG people.
What You Can Do Right Now
Make sure you at the very least have the minimum security precautions in place:
- Secure your devices
- Train your employees
- Consistently backup your data
- Have an incident response plan
- Buy cyber insurance
And no joke, get an IT firm to help you with that incident response plan. It’s important to create the plan and be ready to implement it.
According to Endpoint Protector:
“Incident response plans were the biggest cost saver when it came to the average cost of a data breach. Businesses that had appointed an incident response team and extensively tested their incident response plan had an average data breach cost of $3.29 million/breach, while those that didn’t have either of them had an average cost of $5.29 million/breach, an impressive $2 million difference.”
The other things listed there are part of “data loss prevention”. Those are of the utmost importance as well. Legally and financially.
Endpoint Protector also says:
“Data loss prevention is also a key factor in cost-saving, helping companies save on average approximately $165,000/data breach through the direct protection of sensitive data. Extensive encryption can reduce data breach costs by a further $237,000.”
That’s a lot of money. And money conservation/ covering your backside is often the difference between if your business survives a breach or if your business dies.
Do you have an emergency plan for when your data gets breached? Is your business hitting all the minimum security precautions?
The world has changed and ignoring cybercrime is no longer a viable option for any business.