Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of people and organizations around the world are heading online to buy and sell. Storefront digitalization has become the norm. While this growth of technology use has no doubt had a positive impact on society, unfortunately it comes with several risks: one of them being cyber-attacks.
As technology progresses, so does the probability of cybercrime.
In fact, when the coronavirus outbreak began in 2020, the U.S. FBI reported cyber-attacks rose by 300 percent. Some of the most common types of cyber-attacks include phishing, malware, and ransomware – all generally geared towards stealing sensitive information, tricking unsuspecting victims, and disrupting user privacy and functionality.
If you’re a small to medium sized business owner, it’s important to have a trustworthy IT support company on hand whenever you require any IT-related support. If you don’t know where to start, we’ll take a look at the process of selecting an IT support provider later.
10 Reasons Why Cybersecurity is Important for SMEs
Cybersecurity is defined as the protection of online data, information, and networks from malicious attacks. Since cybercrime is on the rise, expenditure on cybersecurity has been increasing exponentially and is expected to exceed $1 trillion in 2021.
Let’s look at the top ten reasons why cybersecurity is vital to any businesses’ future success.
1. No End in Sight to Rise in Cybercrime
By the end of 2021, 21.1 billion networked devices will be connected to the Internet. This influx of vulnerable devices, along with the development of fast broadband networks, cloud computing, and the dark web will only lead to future, more complex cyber-attacks.
Fortunately, cybersecurity helps minimize yourcompany’s risk of falling prey to cybercriminals and keeps your business’s devices and data safe.
2. Protects Cloud Storage
Today, sensitive information such as credit card details, bank information, personal information, and passwords can be stored on cloud-based software, increasing risk of theft.
If your business’s cloud storage isever hacked or falls prey to a phishing attack, not only will your company and/or client data be stolen, but attackers may misuse it.
Having proper cybersecurity measures in place are paramount for any business to avoid these issues.
3. Better Technology Helps Hackers Automate Cyber-attacks
With the massive growth in IoT and other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, hackers are discovering how to trigger automated cyber-attacks that can compromise online security without the need for human intervention.
With cyber-attacks rising due to better technology, every business’s cybersecurity mustkeep pace with evolving hackers.
4. People Give Out Increasingly More Private Data
Unfortunately, employees and business owners alikeare casually giving away their private information online without a second thought thanks to digitalization.
Sensitive information such as bank details, credit card numbers, and home address are repeatedly shared online. Many times, the website where people enter such data isn’t authentic, leaving them vulnerable to attackers who can hack and misuse the information anytime.
Ensuring all of your staff are taught best cybersecurity practices by an IT expert is a small upfront investment that will pay dividends in the long term.
5. Cybersecurity Can Save Millions of Dollars
It’s better toinvest in strengthening your company’s online networks and devices through cybersecurity than lose millions of dollars in the event of a data breach or industrial espionage.
6. Prevents Increased Regulations and Restrictions
If cybercrime continued to rise without IT expert intervention keeping hackers in check, governments couldconsider implementing laws to protect their citizens from cyber-attacks. These laws and regulations couldresult in several restrictions regarding the content and websites that one accesses on the Internet.
Thankfully, highly trained IT teams ensure would-be cyberthieves are thwarted before they can cause any damage to would-be easy targets like SMEs.
7. Faster Broadband Speeds
With the development and use of 5G broadband networks, such faster broadband speeds maylead to the creation of a highly expanded – and multidimensional – vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks can be scaled much higher on high-bandwidth networks, so business cybersecurity systems mustbe equipped with new, improved methods to provide an effective, adaptive defense system.
8. Increased Mobility
As ourworld rapidly transitions towards complete digitalization, the number of smartphone owners has (unsurprisingly) risen.
Conversely, a rising number of smartphones are lost or stolen every year. These devices usually hold sensitive information and – in the absence of cybersecurity systems – aren’t too difficult to hack, which increases the chance of data being misused.
9. Heavy Losses to Organizations
Companies store a lot of important and time-sensitive information in their network, such as employee databases, transaction details, client information, and so on. A data breach or hack can wipe out everything within minutes, leaving companies vulnerable to data exploitation andpossibly resulting in heavy lossesoremployee layoffs.
Given these facts, responsible organizations should conduct phishing simulation tests regularly and ensuretheir security systems are consistently updated.
10. Cyber-attacks Affect Everyone
On top ofits usual damage to private citizens and businesses, cyber-attacks can cause massive electrical outages, breaches of national security, theft, and exploitation of health records of patients; not to mention affect the defense forces of a country owing to an information leak.
If mishandled, a data leak can lead to severe legal action, as well as major harm for both external organizations as well as individuals.
How to Choose the Best IT Support for Your Company?
Now that you know why cybersecurity is important, let’s learn how to select the best IT support provider for your business.
Identify the Needs of Your Company
Before contacting any IT support provider, it is first essential to understand your company’s needs.
Begin by reviewing your business’s current security systems and where you expect your business to be after a certain period –for example, a year.
This can help yourIT support team understand whether you need to upgrade or change your security systems, and howto improve them.
Identify Local IT Providers
Once you’ve chalked out the requirements of your company, shortlist a few IT support providers in your area. It’s best to contact local IT support agencies, as they can be reached anytime and can easily address your issues in-person.
Once you’ve made a list of local IT support providers, it’s time to conduct research on them. You can do so either by looking up their website or calling them directly. You can inquire about their pricing, services, and specializations.
This helps you better decide which agency would work best for your business.
If you don’t have time to research, you can schedule interviews with IT support providers. During each interview, you can discuss your requirements, what problems you’re facing, and how the interviewee can address the issues.
Ask as many questions as possible to help you make an informed decision.
With an ever-evolving world and rapid advancements in technology, data systems are becoming more vulnerable than ever. Hackers are alwaysfinding new ways to breach networks and steal data.
Cybersecurity has become the need of the hour, for individuals and businesses alike.
While employees must find ways to protect their own data and smart devices, companies need to secure their systems to avoid major losses – and to build a better, safer digital world.