The most common lament about cyber security for small business owners is it drains profits while adding no value to the business.
That shouldn’t be the case, however.
Let’s set aside the truth that proper cyber security measures reduce the likelihood of a successful attack and the ensuing headaches, including bankruptcy, which engulfs 60 percent of SMBs within six months of a breach.
In today’s security-challenged business environment, where most small business owners mistakenly think they are “too small” to be of interest to hackers, a proactive cyber security program can differentiate you from your competition.
A PSFK Lab study with MasterCard revealed that 89 percent of customers expect stores to keep their financial information secure. With heightened alerts about Russian cyber attacks and one breach after another in the headlines, consumers have become more paranoid about their data than ever.
Suppliers — 2/3 of whom reported in a recent study that they have been victimized by a breach originating at a client or another vendor — are requiring stronger security of third parties before they allow them on their networks.
But perhaps most damning of all — a 2017 study by PWC of consumers’ attitudes about the safety of their personal information showed that only 25 percent believe businesses handle their data responsibly.
Prove to your customers that you do handle their data responsibly by touting your company’s cyber security measures as part of your marketing.
Note that I’m not saying to advertise the technology you use to protect your network because that would just give the bad guys key technical tidbits to break in. I’m talking about advertising on your marketing collateral and in your ads things like:
* “Our employees participate in ongoing cyber security training to protect your data”, or
* “Our employees have completed cyber security training to protect your data”, or
* “We deploy state-of-the-art cyber security measures to protect your data” or
* “Our network security meets (insert government and / or industry-specific regulations here)”, or
* Posting security training certificates or posters in your business
So, rather than grousing about the cost of security measures like hardware, software and training, turn this aggravating expense into an investment in your bottom line by assuring your customers and vendors that you protect their sensitive information as diligently as you protect your own.
Eric Magill is the owner of Threatucation, which creates a culture of security in small businesses with security policies and security awareness training for employees. Call us at 302-537-4198 or Email us.