The Cost of Cybersecurity for Your Business
Cybersecurity is typically used as a reactive solution—especially for small businesses that believe they’re too small to be a target. However, 71% of cyberattacks occur at companies with fewer than 100 employees.
A study by Identity Theft Resource Center has shown that many of these attacks on small and medium-sized businesses can cost upwards of $200k to resolve. After a breach, 42% of affected businesses take 1-2 years to recover, 28% take 3-5 years, and some businesses have to shut down operations entirely.
With that kind of potential money and time at risk, it pays to have a robust cybersecurity solution in place that can proactively respond to threats.
What can help protect your small business from cyberattacks? Hiring an IT provider. You can hire an IT provider to recommend and implement cybersecurity solutions for a fixed one-time project fee or an ongoing monthly rate.
This cost of cybersecurity for your business can be affected by the following factors:
- The types of products and services
- The number of users
- Your industry
- The condition of hardware and software
In this article, we’ll break down exactly what cybersecurity entails, the benefits these services can provide to your business, and how these cost factors can impact the price range of your received services.
Want strong cybersecurity solutions?
46Solutions has over 300 years of combined IT experience. We’ve implemented and monitored cybersecurity solutions for various small- to medium-sized Kentucky businesses in different industries. Call us at (859) 788-4600, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our easy 5-question online form below to book a free consultation.Schedule free consultation
Benefits of Hiring an IT Provider for Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, in simple terms, is protecting your, your team’s, and your customers’ information and data from being compromised. It guards against many issues, but we’ll look at three common threats for small businesses: human error and phishing, zero-day exploits, and ransomware.
How do human error and phishing affect cybersecurity?
Human error accounts for 95% of cybersecurity breaches. For example, employees are often unaware of risks and will click on emails that look like they’re from a trusted source. Another source of human error is using weak passwords easily guessed by hackers (you’d be surprised how many people use “password123” or “qwerty” as their password) or sending information to the wrong people.
Or they will ignore constant pop-up “Update software” notifications, which is problematic since these notifications are “software patches” that address security vulnerabilities for a product. Updating and patching your software ensures that your business stays safe from known problems.
Learn more in our article, “Behind the Hack: The Importance of Software Updates & Patches.”
What are zero-day exploits?
Now that you know the definition of a patch, let’s look at zero-day exploits, which are vulnerabilities that have no available updates as they are unknown security problems. Traditional security defenses like antivirus cannot detect zero-day exploits for a long period of time because they only guard against known vulnerabilities.
What is ransomware?
Lastly, let’s look at ransomware. While we typically think of cybersecurity attacks as stealing credit card numbers and other personal information, ransomware attacks don’t just seek information. The purpose of these attacks is to disable the operations of a business and demand a ransom.
Attackers disable organizations by hacking into them, encrypting all data, and holding the decryption key ransom until they get a large payout anywhere from a few hundred dollars to millions—usually in a bitcoin payment. They will also threaten to leak those files to the public if they don’t get the ransom.
Phishing and ransomware attacks have increased by 11% and 6% due to an unprecedented number of people now working remotely. A report found that the average ransom demand for a small business is around $108,000, which adds up when including business interruption costs, reputational damage, and recovery costs.
Learn more in our article, “Ransomware: The Fastest Growing Crime on the Planet.”
How can you strengthen your cybersecurity to respond to these issues?
According to a recent U.S. Small Business Administration survey, 88% of small business owners felt that their businesses were vulnerable to cyberattacks but were overwhelmed about where to start. Hiring an IT provider is an excellent way to prevent cyberattacks and have contingencies in place.
If you already have an IT team, an IT provider can still provide additional talent and the resources needed for 24/7 monitoring and constant reviewing of audit logs. With the threat landscape growing daily with more bad actors and more sophisticated cyberattacks, urgency and vigilance will keep your data safe.
In this landscape, many businesses have an increasing number of entry points, from physical devices (mobiles and Internet of Things) to third-party Software as a Service (SaaS) or Logging as a Service (LaaS) software providers to vendor purchases. Not to mention that human error creates entry points, such as lack of cybersecurity knowledge, not updating software, and not using strong passwords.
Learn more in our article, “6 Signs Your Business is at Risk for a Cybersecurity Attack | 46Solutions.”
An IT provider can help reduce the number of entry points into your organization for an attacker. They will produce a risk assessment and prioritize security solutions tailored to your business, concentrating on high-risk vulnerabilities that pose the greatest threat. IT providers are also often called upon to remedy the damage done by a cyberattack so they can create either preventive or corrective measures.
They can reduce the entry points with proper hardware and software management, such as the following, and thoroughly train your staff on safe cybersecurity protocols and password manager usage.
- Securing devices
- Controlling user access
- Updating software
- Researching third-party vendors and software providers
- Setting security configuration standards
The provider’s job doesn’t end there. After setting up, many providers will also provide 24/7 real-time cybersecurity options to monitor threats and respond to malicious activity. Ongoing cybersecurity is a process. By persistently reviewing audit logs in real-time, a provider can detect and investigate vulnerabilities. The provider can also help you answer how security impacts your business decisions, including where risk exists and how to mitigate risks.
Types of Products and Services
The cost your business pays for cybersecurity will vary depending on the type and number of desired products and services. Your cost is also greatly influenced by whether or not your organization is currently dealing with a security breach, if you want routine cybersecurity, or if you want both preventative and corrective. Remediating a cyberattack can increase your upfront costs as it will require multiple risk assessments and security penetration tests.
An essential facet of cybersecurity is that it should be custom-tailored to each organization. The first step is a risk assessment (which 46Solutions provides for free!), where the provider breaks down your company’s most significant cybersecurity threats and their recommendations. You’ll then have the opportunity to discuss and carefully consider the options that work best for your budget and needs.
If your organization has a tighter IT budget, the provider might propose adding endpoint antivirus software, email protection, two-factor authentication, and a web application assessment as one-time projects.
If your organization has a bigger IT budget, the provider might propose compliance reviews, 24/7 real-time cybersecurity operations, ongoing data protection, hardware security keys, and team training.
Your IT provider will give you a detailed proposal for their recommendations that will focus on what would have the greatest effect on improving your company’s cybersecurity strength and their costs. From there, you will choose a mix of one-time or ongoing products and services.
Number of Users
Your IT provider will secure and monitor all the machines for users—including people in your company’s IT department—to protect your organization’s data, systems, and assets. With more users in your company, the more you will be charged for cybersecurity products and services with a per-user rate (46Solutions offers volume discounts for larger companies). The increased cost is due to a positive correlation between the number of users and the number of entry points between human error and machines of a cyberattack.
Type of Industry
Your organization’s industry will have an impact on your cybersecurity costs. For instance, organizations in the banking, medical, or insurance fields will have increased costs to protect customers’ sensitive personal information, meet regulatory and compliance standards better, and safeguard the company’s intellectual property.
Cybersecurity and finance companies
The financial sector has a strong tie between external and internal entry points. In 2021, the Verizon Enterprises Data Breach Investigations Report found that just sending sensitive information to the wrong person accounted for 55% of internal errors. Meanwhile, ransomware and phishing are becoming an increasing threat, with external threats comprising 56% of the financial sector’s cyberattacks. Many financial companies were unaware of vulnerabilities, with 38% of all incidents discovered once bad actors contacted the companies.
An IT provider can help train your team and increase user access restrictions to prevent human error. They can also implement preventative measures for catching ransomware and phishing attacks. In addition, a skilled provider understands the intricacies behind state regulations for backups, disaster plans, overall data procedures, plus Payment Card Industry Security Standards to ensure a secure environment for accepting, transmitting, or storing cardholder information.
Cybersecurity and healthcare companies
Many healthcare organizations have struggled to meet compliance standards, from employees unable to recognize phishing or proper data protection to basic or nonexistent network security. Cybercriminals exploit insufficient cybersecurity training and outdated security measures, mining information via phishing and ransomware.
Basic human error also continues to beset the healthcare industry for years, with sending sensitive information to the wrong people as 36% of the produced errors.
An IT provider can properly train your organization to recognize phishing and establish a protocol to avoid the misdelivery of information, on top of implementing user access control. They can also help you secure data to meet HIPAA standards.
Condition of Hardware and Software
When your hardware (e.g., computers, servers, hard drives, etc.) or software and security platforms need significant upgrades, your costs may increase to get them in good working order for increased cybersecurity.
Old hardware and software are at risk for security issues because manufacturers and developers no longer support them. Old hardware might not support secure software—even basic antivirus programs. Meanwhile, old software will no longer have security patches, becoming more vulnerable to zero-day exploits.
For example, if your organization is still running software that is no longer supported and patched like Microsoft 7, you’re at enormous risk for a cyberattack.
An IT provider will document and manage all hardware and software used by your organization, including third-party software applications that can access sensitive data. They will oversee all authorized and unauthorized access and continuously monitor changes when systems are patched or updated.
Want Cybersecurity Solutions Tailored for Your Small Business? Contact 46Solutions.
46Solutions has the experience and expertise to help your small business; we provide enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions to central Kentucky companies. We also have certifications and regulatory knowledge for financial and healthcare organizations.
We’re a Top 3 IT Firm awarded by Business Lexington with over 300 years of combined experience protecting small businesses from ransomware, establishing cybersecurity protocols to avoid human error, and implementing technology that acts as a barrier against zero-day exploits.
Contact us at (859) 788-4600 or email@example.com for a free consultation. You can also fill out our easy 5-question online form below.
We’ll also assess your network for free. If we cannot find any vulnerabilities or security gaps in 30 minutes, we’ll donate $100 to a local nonprofit of your choice.Schedule free consultation
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