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It’s almost impossible to scan through any news website today without finding an article on a recent data breach. And in each publication, you’ll read about how the breaches inconvenienced and devastated the affected businesses.
Cyberattacks are inarguably every modern-day business leader or owner’s most significant concern. The constant barrage of breaches makes cybersecurity integral to the survival of any organization. Budgeting to keep your files and IT infrastructure safe does not differ from setting funds aside for regular utilities like electricity—it’s something you cannot simply avoid.
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The bad news is that several organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses like yours, are still not taking data security seriously. Some think that cybersecurity is unreasonably expensive, and others don’t see the need to include it in their IT budgets. According to a recent Varonis Data Risk Report, only 5% of company folders have proper ransomware protection and other breaches prevention techniques.
You must have heard of the famous Charles Duncan Mclver’s quote—If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. The same applies to cybersecurity; you only realize how inexpensive data security is once you understand the potential losses from not taking it seriously. Here are some reasons you need a cybersecurity budget:
Initially, data breaches were simple hacks on personal gadgets with barely any far-reaching financial implications. The actors would encrypt phones and laptops and ask for a few dollars ransom to restore access.
Fast-forward to today-cyber crime is an organized industry with international nation-state hacking groups like Strontium, APT28, and Sofacy. Actors now target companies and extort them for millions. If your organization were to experience a data breach today, IBM predicts that you’d lose up to $3.86 million because of the attack. No wonder Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that an alarming 60% of small and medium-sized enterprises run out of business within six months of undergoing a breach.
We are living in an information age. As Forbes famously put it, data is the new oil. Organizations and individuals rely on information to plan, project patterns, and decide policies.
The present-day consumer is skeptical of how businesses collect, store, and use their information. They trust you with their sensitive data, such as social security numbers, bank logins, health records, financial transaction histories, and other personally identifiable information. The least they expect is that you’ll safeguard this data from landing in the wrong hands. So, if the bad guys steal or access their information, like during a breach, it taints your reputation.
Regardless of your industry, reputation is one thing you cannot afford to dent. A good reputation takes years or even decades to build and just a few minutes to destroy. It’s more financially prudent to invest in cybersecurity and save your public image than expose yourself to the danger of a damaged reputation because of a cyberattack.
Most SMBs that don’t budget for cybersecurity imagine that cybercriminals only go after big multinationals. This is a popular opinion, but it’s not true. The bad guys do not discriminate—they can attack any organization, regardless of the size or industry.
According to a recent publication by Cybersecurity Magazine, small and medium-sized businesses account for approximately 43% of all U.S. data breaches. It further states that up to 61% of SMBs have experienced at least one cyberattack in the last twelve months. If you’re still in denial, look at the CISCO benchmark study that shows that 40% of small enterprises experience at least eight hours of downtime during a severe cyberattack.
Here’s the thing—SMBs provide an easier target because they rarely budget for cybersecurity. Nobody is safe. Therefore, having a cybersecurity budget is crucial regardless of your company’s size.
One reason most businesses think cybersecurity may be expensive is because they limit themselves to providing all IT solutions internally. This arrangement means that you have to hire IT personnel entitled to salaries and other benefits, set up cybersecurity infrastructure from scratch, buy software licenses, and several other expenses. The trade-off is that you get customized IT services and specialists focusing only on your network.
Don’t let the cost factor prevent you from budgeting for IT. You don’t have to handle all cybersecurity solutions in-house. The less inexpensive option is outsourcing managed IT services. An IT support services provider can deliver all the IT solutions your business requires at a fraction of what you’d need to handle it internally. Outsourcing not only helps you budget less but also frees you to concentrate on other business-centric tasks.
Perhaps the best part is that outsourcing IT solutions enable you to draft your cybersecurity budget with confidence. You no longer have to worry about unplanned costs because of unexpected glitches. The IT support company handles everything at an agreed service fee.
LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.
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