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Startups And Small Sized Industries, Battling Against IT Risks

Big firms being attacked by cybercriminals is something that all of us are aware of. It is on the front page of the newspaper the next morning: XXX industries lost millions in a cyberattack. And the news follows.

What we mean to say is that it is no surprise that successful industries get hacked or attacked by intruders. What comes as a shock is a security breach in the coffee shop down the lane or the grocery shop three blocks from your house. Why would someone hack their system and what is there to lose?

Well, that’s a nasty question. Businesses, no matter how small have something that worth the attack. Imagine, there’s a breach in the vendor system and all the data has been hacked. Now, this data is more than the stock present in the store. It has all of the customer’s information, credit details, and other confidential data. Once a customer realizes that his/her privacy has been evaded, they are no longer purchasing stuff from that store.

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So, the business lost a potential customer or it could be an array of customers. And if there spreads a word, that business is bound to suffer. In fact, several studies reveal that 60% of SMEs have to shut down their business post a cyberattack in a matter of six months. (Source)

That’s a pretty huge figure and so, it is obvious that small scale business suffers as much as the big fat enterprises (if not more) owing to a cyberattack.  And, for a broad context, we can blame it on the irresponsible or non-existing IT Risk Management arrangements.

The Impact of Lack of IT Risk Management on Small Businesses

As mentioned earlier, the mindset of an attacker isn’t dependent on the size of the business. Or it is not that if your business is small, you can trick the eyes of an attacker. In fact, attackers pry more on small businesses because:

  • They lack competent safety measures and have a poor defense mechanism
  • Store data loosely – No focus on Data integrity
  • Doesn’t perform regular backups
  • Not anticipating the possibility of cyberattacks, or not correcting measuring the intensity of attack once it happens.
  • Ignoring IT compliances
  • Having no data security or cybersecurity plan in place
  • No data management

A recent report by Cisco outlines that of the interviewed 1377 CEOs, 62% accepted that their organization doesn’t have a cybersecurity strategy. So, you see it becomes so much easier for an intruder to break in the system.

Talking about impact, damages caused owing to no Integrated Risk Management are huge. Some of these include:

Loss of Data

Intruding the system, hackers gain access to all the confidential data and steal potential information which is fatal for your organization and corresponding customers. While you can restore the information, if you had a backup, but you cannot reinstate the trust your customers had.

Additional Expenses

It might so happen that the hackers gained control of your devices and infected them with viruses. Fixing the damage caused due to the above enlists an array of expenses you are bound to make.

Money Loss

The ransomware attacks are fatal for organizations no matter small or big. Imagine, the hackers locking your system and seeking thousands of dollars in return. Not to mention the loss incurred while your business wasn’t functioning.

Lawsuits

As long as the data stolen belonged to your firm, it was not a matter of privacy breach. However, if the data belongs to a service provider or another firm, there might be a lawsuit filed against you and your organization. You may be asked to shut down the business or pay a huge amount in return for negotiation.

In addition to all of the above, cyber risks and attacks disrupt all the trust you had built in these many years. Your brand reputation suffers and even though the business resumes, organizations find it hard to survive. Neither do customers entrust your services nor third party companies consider your business to be worth an arrangement?

All in all, small businesses really need to fight their way out, once the system has been comprised and data hacked.

Why Are Small Sized Business Struggling With IT Risks?

For one – Ventures do not consider IT Risk Management as their priority. This results in the lack of a strong strategy for detecting & mitigating attacks, thus, making the whole organization vulnerable, and hence, an easy target.  

Well, there are two different reasons to explain the above –

The *we are not a target* mentality

Now, there could be multiple reasons that outline why small businesses are suffering. Of all, the first and the most important one is the lack of awareness. Or, it could be stated as downsizing the possibility of being attacked. Nearly, half of the small enterprises are convinced of the idea that they are not the target and there is no way someone would hack there system. The statement in itself is a cliché. There are not many organizations that have never been attacked or fallen prey to hackers.

And even if an enterprise hasn’t yet been the target, having a defense mechanism is a must.

It is a costly affair

Another reason why small-sized enterprises experience jet lag is the fact that their leaders deem IT Risk Management to be something complex and highly expensive. They are under the impression that the measures undertaken to combat cyberattacks would drain their resources and cost them huge. And it is only meant for big enterprises as they can afford to implement such colossal solutions.

These two are the prime reasons that prevent an organization from adopting measures of cyber defense.  And hence, they have a deal with the repercussions of an attack.

But is the above true?

For the first, the statement is totally vague and irrespective of the size, businesses are always prone to hacks and attacks.

Secondly, we won’t say that defense solutions are cheap, let alone the expenses incurred in hiring a security expert. However, the fact that a single attack could be the reason for total shut down, the preliminary expenses of safeguarding security seem worth it.

With that being said, one thing worth mentioning here is the fact that even though large businesses are more successful in implementing IT Risk Management strategies, small businesses have leverage.

  1. For one, small businesses have a limited workforce. So, inducing a change or modifying any of the software would not take much time. Imagine that your organization planned to alter the email platform. Now, making this change within an organization with 20,000 employees would take. Not to forget the efforts needed to train such a huge lot of employees to use the new solution. Quite the contrary, small businesses have a limited workforce and inducing this change is pretty quick. They can quickly restore and adapt to modern solutions.
  2. Further, there are lesser number of systems within the small organizations and releasing an update or migrating to a different deck is again faster and better. With more systems, the complexity increases and so does the extremity.
  3. Small businesses have interconnectedness within their institution and any small change is notified at the, earliest. Righteously said, everything starts at home. The need to secure the environment also begins with the team.

In case, you are looking for a company that would help your strength your defense mechanism, Claptek offers a hand. With dedicated experts and business-specific IT Risk Management solutions, we help your business remain secure. Contact us to know more!

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