7 Reasons You Need a Small Business Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

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February 12, 2020

If you are a small business owner worried about a cyberattack, you have good reason to be. The cost of a single data breach can be devastating—up to five figures or more per single lost record. In the event of a serious cyber attack, 60 percent of small businesses will fold, according to recent estimates. Even worse, only 14% of smaller companies are adequately prepared to defend themselves from attack. It you want to stay one step ahead of hackers, your company needs help. It’s time to enlist a managed services IT provider to conduct a comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessment.

A cybersecurity risk assessment is a comprehensive look at your security procedures and your data handling, and it exposes your vulnerabilities. If you haven’t had one done recently, we recommend you have one done sooner, rather than later. What can an assessment do for your company? Here’s the top reasons we give to potential clients. With an up-to-date cybersecurity risk assessment, your company will be:

1. Future Proofing Your Security Processes

Doing a risk assessment is a great chance to organize your security efforts, catalog your vulnerabilities, and set your budgets. You can examine employee permissions, devices, software, backup solutions and more as part of the cybersecurity risk assessment process.

2. Increasing Employee Cyber Awareness 

Cybersecurity risk assessments are great for that “top level” view of your risk. They’re also great for teaching employees how to avoid cyber threats in their day to day work. As part of the assessment process, you’ll find the areas where employees are courting danger in your network. A good MSP should be able to connect you to training resources. Those training programs can do a lot to help close the door on cyber crime.

3.  Developing a More Comprehensive Cybersecurity Plan 

A cybersecurity assessment can do more than just reveal the need for more training or security programs. You may need to upgrade or update devices, change your business continuity plan, or adjust permissions for employees. Cybersecurity planning can create strategic momentum in your organization. Ask yourself: how can the secure flow of data improve my business operations?

4.  Checking Your Compliance Procedures

Regulations evolve constantly. Ignore security compliance, and you’ll set your company up for fines and lawsuits. And if the worst happens, judges don’t look kindly on companies who didn’t take steps to secure their data. When regulators examine your business, they’ll be looking for written data handling policies and employee training on those policies. Integris can help point you to HIPPA compliance rules or the Financial Services Cybersecurity Profile for financial services. What are the other ways data breaches can impact your bottom line?

5. Protecting Your Bottom Line

How does a data breach affect your bottom line? The effects could be disastrous. Your customer information could end up for sale on the dark web. Your new product design could be poached by competitors. And the fallout doesn’t stop there. You could set yourself up for:

  • Lawsuits 
  • Lost employee productivity 
  • Direct financial loss 
  • Loss of intellectual property 
  • Fines and penalties 
  • Reputation damage 
  • Plummeting stock prices 

Company executives are often called upon, on a personal level, to be accountable for data breaches. There are many recent examples of this. For instance, Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel “stepped down” following a 2013 data breach, and Equifax’s CEO Richard Smith “retired” shortly after the breach affecting his company. Many times, high-level executives are “sacrificed” to maintain brand integrity. 

Protecting a company from data breach fallout has become big business. Some insurance companies offer cyber liability insurance for businesses to help them settle their finances after a breach. 

6 Boosting Employee Productivity 

Your small business cybersecurity assessment will help identify software issues, outdated hardware and many other vulnerabilities that could lead to a cyberattack. Many of these vulnerabilities can affect employee productivity as well. Older versions of hardware, incompatible software and many other outdated systems can drastically slow down your network and result in unplanned downtime and lower employee productivity.  

You may see employee morale rise as well; no employee is happy working at a sluggish, outdated workstation, staring at the “spinning wheel of death” and unable to perform basic job duties. According to a 2018 study, employees are over 450% more likely to leave employers who have outdated, lagging tech.  

7. Establishing a Clear Security Baseline

The first cybersecurity risk assessment will lay the framework for routine re-evaluations. The information will help you understand where your endpoints are, employee access permissions and more. As a result, you can tighten your security, your IT team will have a better idea of how to quickly address issues if they should arise. 

Integris Will Help You Conduct a Comprehensive and Small Business Cybersecurity Assessment 

If all these steps sound complicated to you, don’t worry. At Integris, we have these kinds of assessments down to a science. We can help you complete an assessment. As a next step, our experts can help you develop a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. We can also advise you on what should be covered in a cybersecurity insurance plan. Are you ready to get started?

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation and let Iconic T show you how easy, affordable and effective our business cybersecurity risk assessment can be. 

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Susan Gosselin is a Senior Content Writer for Integris. A career communicator and business journalist, she's written extensively on IT topics and trends for IT service providers like Iconic IT and ProCoders Ukraine, as well as business publications such as Technologyadvice.com, Datamation.com, The Lane Report and many others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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