3rd October, 2014

Cyberattacks becoming more costly and frequent

Small businesses face a number of challenges as they grow and establish a footing in their market. Taking on new staff and introducing new products are often the things that keep company owners up at night.

However, there are many other risks that can easily impact on the overall profitability of a small business, risks that will often strike without warning and can be devastating for a company. One of the main hazards for modern firms are cyberattacks – organised attempts to hack into corporate data and compromise systems.

The risks that come from cyberattacks are significant for small businesses and are only increasing as more companies store data electronically. In fact, a recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that the number of detected security incidents has risen 66 per cent since 2009.

At the same time, the average global loss from a cyberattack has reached $2.7 million, a 34 per cent increase since 2013.

So how can small businesses in Perth prevent these incidents from occurring and ensure they have the right tools at their disposal? Here are three things companies should consider.

Understand your IT security situation

Protecting your business starts with understanding the security you already have in place and the risks that come with your current processes. 

Start-ups and very small businesses often have an ad-hoc approach to their IT systems, while slightly larger firms may choose to outsource their IT capabilities. Although both of these situations reflect the lack of digital expertise small businesses have access to, they also present opportunities for cybercriminals.

Ensuring that your systems are up-to-date and that any companies you work with have comprehensive security measures are crucial first steps towards keeping your resources safe.

Take out business insurance

Business insurance in Perth is likely to be one of your best options when it comes to mitigating the impact of a cyberattack. Just as insurance can be used to protect a business in the event of a natural disaster, so too can it be used to limit the damage from a man-made threat to your company data.

Increase security spending

IT security can be a big expense, but it is one that is worth investing in. PwC's survey found that many companies have stopped increasing funding to their IT systems, with overall global spending stalling in 2014.

Considering the rapid increase in the number of cyberattacks in that time, companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to establishing protective measures. Whether spending directly through security software, or indirectly through business insurance, preventing damage from cyberattacks requires a significant investment from firms. 

Author: Murray Bruce