From electronic bank fraud to hacks that reveal thousands of customers’ personal information, small and medium businesses face the same kinds of cybersecurity threats as larger organizations. The fact that you operate on a smaller scale doesn’t make these threats any less significant. Are you doing everything you need to do to stay safe?
Advanced Technology, Advanced Risks
In many ways, the advent of internet technology and mobile communications has been a democratizing force for small and medium businesses. Now, if you have a good product and you can market and sell it in a digital format, you can reach a global audience of billions rather than limiting yourself to the customer base that lives within a 50 mile radius of your shop. Whether your business provides its customers and clients with goods and services, chances are that you perform some part of your business in the digital realm.
Smartphones, digital bank accounts, business email, online shops, document sharing and storage tools…all of these elements play a part in the average business day. Sharing information with employees and transferring property to customers isn’t just a physical thing anymore. While these digital resources make life easier and increase efficiency, they also open both the business and the customer up to some significant risks. If your business stores customer financial information and deals with any other sensitive digital information, cybersecurity should be a primary concern.
What Keeps Businesses From Addressing the Issue
The two major factors that keep most business owners from investing in cybersecurity are the same two that are at play in most other neglected areas: time and money. If you spend your days selling custom clothing online and in a retail store, are you really going to spend time learning everything there is to know about cutting-edge cybersecurity protocol? Probably not. Doing so would essentially be like taking on a second job, and that’s not a realistic prospect for most professionals.
If you’re held back by a lack of funds, that can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Proper cybersecurity usually requires some financial investment, and good quality security doesn’t come cheap. Cutting corners is appealing, but is that really something you want to skimp on? Think about the consequences of a major cybersecurity disaster. Big box stores and other major brands have to work overtime to bounce back from a cybersecurity scandal, and in some cases, a serious hack can change the way they do business forever. If you think you can’t afford to take precautions now, consider how expensive it will be to fix cybersecurity-related problems later.
When you don’t feel you have the capital to invest in something like a cybersecurity assessment, alternative funding may be the right answer. It’s something to think about very carefully if you’re at risk for attack.
Are You At Risk?
So is your business at risk? If you aren’t sure whether you are or you aren’t, there’s an easy answer: yes, you’re at risk. Personal information, financial information and other valuable data are vulnerable in an insufficiently protected digital environment. While cybersecurity can be hard to keep track of, especially if you’re focused on other day-to-day elements of your business and personal life, it’s something you either understand or you don’t. This is a constantly evolving field, and if you aren’t putting regular effort into staying on top of the latest developments and protocol, chances are you’ve already fallen behind.
The solution, then, is to bring in someone who can help. This is true regardless of whether you have an IT department or not. Again, because this is such a complex, quickly evolving field, you’ll want to bring in a specialized consultant whose sole purpose is to stay abreast of the latest threats and defenses in the cybersecurity field. Even if the consultant simply makes a brief assessment of your makes recommendations that your IT department can carry out on their own, this is a worthwhile investment that will pay dividends. Don’t let a lack of funds stop you from doing what’s necessary to keep your business safe. FundKite can help you secure the funding you need to shore up your digital security and provide peace of mind for your customers, your employees and yourself.