Weak Cybersecurity Hurts Your Business. Here's How to Save It. – Entrepreneur

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Every small business must face digital dangers head-on, creating and implementing an effective cybersecurity plan.
If you were to ask five random strangers from different walks of life what the major threats to the future of small businesses are, you’re likely to get similar answers. The potential responses would likely include rising inflation and possible recession, job market volatility, the speed of technological advancement, supply chain issues and more.
The real question is, what insidious threat is far too often shunted to the back burner, passed on to the next operating budget? What issue is left to address when revenue is on the right trajectory, inventory is viable, growth is stable and scaling up is starting to take shape?
Related: Cybersecurity Is No Longer An Option. Your Money Is in Immediate Danger.
Ignoring the gravity of cyber threats is a dangerous gamble. The risk is undeniable:
Acknowledging the harsh reality the majority of individuals choose to ignore is a crucial stepping-off point. A true understanding of the situation results in knowing what protective measures must be taken. Creating and implementing cybersecurity measures must be a high priority for businesses of all sizes, particularly SMBs, where the margin for error is razor-sharp.
There are few endeavors as nerve-wracking, terrifying, and potentially disastrous — yet 100% worth it — as starting and running a small business. I’ve experienced the passion that drives those dedicated to seeing it through. I’ve felt the fuel that burns within team members fully committed to taking an idea and nurturing it into a viable, self-sustaining entity.
It’s no secret that the odds are stacked against us. The numbers don’t lie. It’s widely reported that, on average, 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first year. The odds get even grimmer within five years, with nearly half of all new small businesses closing up shop.
Given the evident confidence and enthusiasm founders exude, why do the majority of small businesses trivialize or wholly ignore cybersecurity? Why is the immense potential for all-too-truly disaster lurking around every corner? It’s a matter of resources and a lack of an informed perspective.
Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Company Against Cyber Attacks
Addressing cybersecurity as a small business is a necessary undertaking that sees greater complexity and effort over time. There are foundational steps that need to be taken, which are strengthened with increased security measures. Given the undeniable threats lurking, the stronger a business’s protection features, the better.
Here are some crucial measures to take from the get-go:
One of the most critical steps a business can take is employee cybersecurity education. Without a thorough awareness and understanding of the myriad ways cybercriminals attack, employees are weak links that will inevitably be compromised. Basic instruction on the severity of the threat and critical risks to avoid will go a long way in bolstering the strength of active cybersecurity defense.
Equipping your company with established cybersecurity policies and action plans strengthens the foundational steps outlined above; these steps ingrain a defensive mindset and preparedness essential to countering adaptive cybercriminal attacks. The specific plans created will vary in correlation to the size and structure of a business but can include the following:
Related: 5 Leadership Strategies to Improve Team Performance and Grow Your Small Business
Every small business is unique. Every owner, every leadership team and every staff member — everyone has their own story. It’s hard to say if they will all get told.
When navigating the endless parade of pressing concerns, looming threats and demands on dwindling resources of time, the energy and effort required can seem overwhelming. Lumping cybersecurity measures into the to-do list to tackle another day may seem to make sense at the moment, but reality paints a much different picture.
When leading a small business, there are appropriate levels of time and resources to invest in any given issue. Finding the right level for their business will be a call they have to get right.
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Emily Rella
Sam Silverman
Emily Rella
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