Small and Mid-Size Businesses Need to Focus on Cybersecurity – NOW!

As start-ups, small and mid-size businesses continue to massively contribute towards market growth, it is quite evident to mark how success stories in the making of competing for agile industries hold cybersecurity at a base. In the era of modernization, IT has secured a foothold for developing, storing and promoting crucial data that has led to uprising cyber threats at a wide range.

Why are small and medium business softer targets to cyber threats?

The “not much to steal” mindset is common with small and medium business owners in regards to cyber security. But something to bring in notice is that intelligence gathering is one of the major reasons for cyber-attacks. While it is commonly believed that cyber criminals may pass over the smaller enterprises and target only the massively funded businesses, it is completely incorrect and not in sync with current cyber security practices. The interest of cyber criminals today lies in targeting smaller businesses as they lack the road to cyber security.

SMBs need to keep few checkpoints handy within their systems or administrational practices to ensure how much secure the trade is. As a smaller company, trust towards data security, needs to be focused on. While supplying IT services, there need to be right security solutions, the right insurance, the right employees and the right technology. This can be in form of written agreements like service support or product support contracts or better an NDA (Non – Disclosure Agreements) for practicing a carefree and secured trade.     

On an average 61% SMBs have been hit by cyber-attacks and the average cost of those breaches has exceeded $1,000,000. So, rather than piling on to loss, it is essential for SMBs to establish practices and take preventive measures for cyber-attacks.

Why is cybersecurity for SME so important?

Despite the daunting cost potential, as the means of keeping your company’s coffers, data, and reputation safe, your cybersecurity plan is invaluable. You’ll need it to protect all aspects of your digital systems throughout the cyber-attack lifecycle:

  • Preventing, detecting and defending against an attack
  • Visa reports that 95 percent of credit card breaches happen at SMBs, as thieves use systems hacks, malware, and even ransomware to drain business and customer money. In 2018, infected email delivered over 90 percent of all malware attacks. Your IT security should address each of these types of threats:
Maintaining business continuity

Most businesses try to continue doing business during an attack because having all systems come to an abrupt halt also stops revenue generation. Your IT security plan should include the capacity to maintain productivity despite an attack.

Recovering after the attack

Disaster recovery planning is also often lacking in the SMB. The financial cost of a breach can be expensive and includes loss of assets and income and the cost of replacing contaminated systems elements. If consumer information is involved, those expenses can multiply exponentially. Your security strategy needs a plan to manage the fallout after an attack has occurred.

Considering the cost and losses a breach can cause, it’s no surprise that as many as 60% of SMBs simply don’t survive a cyber-attack.

How are data security policies affecting businesses?

When data security laws like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when come to effect, the cost to comply them is not affordable for small or medium business enterprises. The need for data management technology tools and legal consulting for data privacy management increases.

Smaller business may have less access to funding that keeps them deprived from accessing to such laws when they are the most vulnerable and easy targets to cyber-attacks.

Why is ISO 27001 beneficial for SMBs?

When there is a tighter budget, lesser time to manage security risks, ISO 27001 helps remove the unnecessary cost and complexity. It helps the smaller businesses to comply with global security standards and stand competing with bigger brands.

Small businesses can only gain optimum benefits from data security policies if they try stay updated to gain maximum benefits from affordable security policies.

Upcoming Data Privacy Laws of India

Though, Constitution of India does not patently grant the fundamental right to privacy, with the advent of Information Technology and the digital age, it is truly the need of hour to move towards comprehensive data protection laws.

On January 04, 2019, the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, informed the Rajya Sabha that the data protection law has been finalized and the Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon.

The current hallmark of data protection regulation in the world is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR)1 which came into effect on May 25, 2018. Some of the salient rights provided are as follows:

1. The right to have personal data minimized.

2. The right to have knowledge as to where the data is being stored.

3. The right to have access to the data, to correct it.

4. The right to be forgotten wherein the data subject has the right to ask the company to delete their personal data permanently.

India’s data protection regime is primarily governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011.

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