Inflation affects everyone. It’s a pure and basic truth to economics. In June 2022, inflation reached a 40-year-high here in the U.S and continues to remain among the highest levels this country has seen, leading to rising costs for everything from groceries to gas. This has left consumers scrambling to cut discretionary spending in any way they can. But American households aren’t the only ones feeling the burden of inflation. Small-to-medium-sized businesses are too. And, like individual consumers, they are looking for quick and easy ways to cut costs. For many, cybersecurity costs are the first to go.
Costs and Attacks Are on the Rise
Past trends have shown us that cybersecurity threats increase during inflation periods. In 2021 alone, there was a 17% increase in public ransomware attacks and a 100% increase in the retail sector specifically. And not only are the frequency of attacks going up, but so are the ransom amounts. Why? In short, hackers aren’t immune to rising costs. They have bills to pay too. But instead of cutting costs like the rest of us, they increase the rate and scale of their criminal activities. Smaller companies that may have fallen under the radar compared to large corporations are also more likely to fall victim as hackers look for easier and quicker targets.
Once an attack does happen, repairs can be costly, ranging in the millions of dollars. IBM reports that the average data breach cost in 2022 is 4.35 million dollars, up 12% since 2020. How can you keep your small business safe without breaking the bank in these uncertain economic times?
How Do I Prevent an Attack?
Roughly 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack close within a year after. So, how can you ensure you don’t fall victim?
First, as tempting as it may be, don’t cut your cybersecurity costs. The resourcing you put into cybersecurity is an investment in the stability of your company. These costs, while not inexpensive, are trivial compared to the millions you may end up paying out in the case of a data breach. Where should you be allocating that funding?
- Planning & preparing. Know what you’ll do during and immediately following a hack. Know which employees will lead the response efforts, how you will alert stakeholders, and how you will lock down your environments to prevent further damage.
- Developing defense strategies. Ensure your endpoints are secured, your software updated with the latest technical controls, and your data backed up onsite and off.
- Training. Train your employees. Help them understand security best practices and teach them to look out for the early signs of a cyberattack.
- Consulting with the experts. Consult with cybersecurity experts. They can review your network and audit your cloud and on-premise environments, detecting any possible leaks or vulnerabilities.
Insuring Against the Unimaginable
Another resource you should be investing in, even during times of inflation? Cybersecurity insurance. Just as you may have home or auto insurance to cover accidents, cybersecurity insurance may help with loss of revenue after an attack. There are a couple of different plans for cybersecurity insurance, depending on your size, risk, and provider:
- Errors and omissions protect companies from claims that they did not fulfill their contractual obligations and thus an attack occurs on their clients.
- Media liability protects physical and online intellectual property, such as social media posts.
- Network interruption coverage protects businesses by covering the cost of repairs that affect daily operations.
- And network security covers your network security problems like data restoration and IT forensics.
Without cybersecurity insurance, you may need to recoup the costs faced by your customers, employees, and stakeholders on your own.
Request a Free IT Security Network Assessment from KDG
If you’re looking for a consulting team to help you develop your defense strategies, our award-winning IT security team at KDG can help. We offer free IT network assessments that will not only test the strength of your network but pinpoint any weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Where are there weak endpoints? Where are passwords not being updated? Where is software not patched? Following our audit, you’ll receive a report that details everything our team found and the next steps you need to take to bolster your security. Plus, having an expert conduct such an audit may make you eligible for substantial discounts on your cybersecurity insurance!
Inflation has us all cutting costs, but your safety and security are priceless. To get started and request your free audit, contact us today!
Claudia Miller is the AVP of Professional Services at KDG. Experienced in HTML, CSS, SCSS, and custom WordPress functions, Claudia’s flexibility has enabled her to move seamlessly between custom applications, websites, databases, and crowdfunding platforms with tremendous success, no matter the industry or the issue a client is facing.