We all fear cyber attacks, but sometimes the reality of the threat doesn’t sink in until your network is down and you’re being threatened with a $200,000 ransomware fee.
In today’s world, your small company’s entire livelihood likely lies behind a screen, and your ability to use a computer is imperative to keeping your doors open. That means that backup and disaster planning is essential to ensure your data is protected from outside threats.
Whether it’s opening an email with an attached virus or a full-out data breach, these events can be nearly impossible to predict but completely possible to prepare for. Let’s look at three ways a cyber attack could threaten your small business:
1. Being Closed or Exposed Could Shut You Down
We are all human, and we make mistakes. One innocent click by a trusted employee could open your entire network to harmful hackers and prompt an immediate system shut-down.
Did you know 65% of companies could likely not stay in business if they were forced to close for a week or longer? That’s right. In a study conducted by Symantec, the cybersecurity company found that between the resources needed to recover and a week without sales, closing your doors for five days or more would have a dramatic hit on most small businesses’ stability.
Now let’s take that broad statistic and hone in on cyber attacks. That same Symantec study found that it cost an average of $300,000 for each small business to remedy the damage. Do you have that kind of money at your fingertips? Most smaller sized companies do not.
Although the costs alone can certainly be crippling, sometimes, that’s not even the only reason a data breach could ruin you. Damage also extends to your customer’s perception of your business.
If you manage personal data and are hacked, trust will be broken. Not only do you risk losing current customers, but your reputation is put on the line, which could have substantial short and long-term consequences for gaining future customers.
2. If Not All is Recovered, You Could Drown in “Redo” Time
Even if you make it through the costs of the initial damage and don’t lose your customers, the aftermath could be your undoing.
No matter how much you invest in a data recovery expert, some corrupt or damaged files simply cannot be recovered, or are only partially restored. This could mean the tiresome and costly tasks of redoing old work: recreating spreadsheets your employees have been updating for months, reaching out to customers for lost information and more.
Depending on how much you lost, this repetitive recovery period could breed frustration amongst employees, prompt more mistakes and trigger potential “salt in the wound” problems with your already distraught customers.
Keeping your information backed up in multiple locations is the only way to ensure security, if your current files are damaged or lost.
3. It’s Not Just Your Customers You Have to Worry About, It’s the IRS
There are various regulations that surround businesses requiring certain levels of file keeping, including past records of audits, taxes and other archives. In today’s day and age, most of these records are stored on your devices, not in file cabinets like a few decades ago.
It’s the hard truth that the IRS and other regulatory commissions don’t care about your cyber attack or other technological meltdown. If you don’t provide them with proper documentation they need, they can fine you for not being compliant.
Ensuring that you have an offsite backup or proper initial security could really save you from massive legal headaches.
Cyber Attacks Aren’t the Only Way You Could Lose Your Data
Cyber attacks aren’t all. Your small business could also suffer as the result of improper security or just natural occurrences. Here are just a few other ways you could lose important company data:
- Theft of equipment, either by an employee or outside party
- Computer crashes due to technical issues like hard drive failure, etc.
- Physical damage due to natural disaster
Get the Right Protection Today
Don’t leave your business at risk of cyber threats or losing precious data. You need to ensure your files are protected and available across different mediums, so that in the event of disaster, you are prepared to handle any emergency.
We’re here to help you implement the right solutions for your small business. If your main computer system goes down, we’ll make sure you can tap into the cloud to be up and running again in under an hour.
We hear about data breaches all the time in our everyday lives.
In 2016, hackers stole data from 57 million Uber customers. Last fall, it was just announced that every one of Yahoo’s 3 billion accounts was hacked in 2013— it took them four years to find out!
Last summer, 200 million voter records were exposed online after a simple misconfiguration of a GOP data firm’s Amazon cloud storage service.