A lot of small businesses are not convinced that they should be investing on cyber security. For one, information technology security is not cheap. It is a complex technology that needs highly skilled and intelligent individuals to function. That cannot be cheap. For small businesses, computer security is only a necessity for large corporations. For small businesses, it may just be an added financial burden.
That is of course the wrong notion. Large corporations will be able to handle possible hacks in their systems because they can afford to hire the best information technology personnel. But they invest in cyber security anyway because they don’t want to be reactive. They want to prevent any cyber threats to prosper in the first place. But small businesses do not have a chief information security officer in their employ. So not only are they vulnerable to cyber-attacks because they did not invest in cyber security system, they are also ill equipped to combat such threats.
That ties to the second reason why small business owners are not inclined to spend a lot of money on online security: the lack of understanding. Entrepreneurs don’t want to invest on something they don’t understand.
The most obvious reason why businesses should invest in cyber security is security. There is so much damage that could be incurred when security fails. For one, work will have to be stopped. A half day of work stoppage could already mean loss of profit. Business continuity is the name of the game. Remember that businesses exist to make a profit. So it would be ironic on an entrepreneur’s part not to make money just because they were trying to scrimp on money by not investing on IT security.
As a business owner, you also want to hold on to your clients. You want to “buy” their loyalty by giving them the best products or services that you can manage. If there is a breach in security, your clients might be caught in the crossfire. There is this one very important matter when it comes to business deals and it only involves one word: confidentiality. No matter how mundane the information that the cybercriminal may have hacked from your business, it could potentially be used against the client. The fact that cybercrime was able to penetrate your business in the first place is already enough to lose clients over—whether they were affected or not.
There is also a matter of integrity. If your business is cyber attacked, chances are you are going to lose some important business information. This is especially possible when you are trying to practice paperless transactions. So your data are gone and you would be at a loss on how to proceed with business. So you might have to inform your clients. And you just gave them a reason to walk away.
If you have a small business but with a big technology, that is an absolute marketing tool for you and you should take advantage of it. Since you are going to spend a lot of money on this investment, you might as well boast about it. Tell the public that you have a sophisticated cyber security system and you might just attract more clients. The clients that you already have will definitely stay with you from then on.
The lack of cyber security could also work against you. Say, no hacking happened—at least not yet. You operate your business with a clean slate and pristine reputation. Nothing bad ever happened to your company and you have never failed a client. But then a similar business starts operating nearby. You are confident because it’s a new business without a stellar repertoire to match your own. But the company advertises: We have a state-of-the-art cyber security system to ensure safety and security of your business transactions.
The competition has not even attacked your business’s lack of cyber security. But that would be enough for them to gain clients that could have been in your corner. Not only that, it could make your existing clients have doubt whether they should stay with your and risk potential cyber threats for the sake of loyalty, or take the plunge with a younger and more secure company?
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29 October 2020