By Amos Aesoph, Xigent CISO
Cybersecurity has drastically changed over the last few years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) became increasingly reliant on technology to operate their businesses.
Fast forward to 2023, hybrid and remote work has cemented themselves as commonplace in American households. Although many organizations improved their approach toward cybersecurity amid the pandemic, most have not adapted since.
As security threats evolve, so should your approach to cybersecurity. Below are important reasons for SMBs to strengthen cybersecurity, especially in a hybrid and remote work environment:
Ransomware, phishing, and social engineering attacks are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent than ever. According to SonicWall Threat Intelligence, there were 318.6 million more ransomware attacks than in 2020. Small businesses are the most vulnerable to these attacks, with 43% of cyber-attacks targeting them.
SMBs often deal with sensitive data, including customer information, financial data, and intellectual property. Without proper cyber protection, a data breach can completely cripple SMBs, damaging reputations, and economic gains. The average data breach cost is $9.44 million, according to the “2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report” by IBM Security.
Many SMBs have strict compliance requirements regarding data protection, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Failing to meet these regulations commonly results in fines, lawsuits, and loss of customer trust. Allowing employees to work in remote and hybrid environments typically decreases the chance to review whether all regulations are being followed. Updating cybersecurity measures outside the business walls can ensure just that.
With a hybrid workforce, employees access company data and systems from outside the office network, creating security risks as remote devices may not be adequately secured. SMBs need to implement security measures such as two-factor authentication, virtual private networks (VPNs), and secure remote access to mitigate these risks.
SMBs depend on customer trust to be successful. Customers expect their data to be kept safe and secure, and a data breach can lead to a loss of trust and reputation. According to a recent study, 81% of customers said they would stop doing business with a company if it experienced a data breach. By continuously improving cybersecurity, SMBs can demonstrate to their customers that they take security seriously and can be trusted with their sensitive information.
Prioritizing cybersecurity takes consideration, and SMBs can ensure their long-term success with help from Xigent’s security experts. Xigent creates ways to adapt and modify an organization’s network security to ensure customer satisfaction and data protection. Click the links below for more tips on how to improve your business’s cybersecurity.
Tips & Tricks on How to Improve Security