Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can level the playing field with their bigger peers by effectively leveraging technology. For example, there are digital solutions that can improve internal and external communications, and small business software that can take care of finances - such as CashManager from Accomplish.
However, with more SME owners entering into the digital space, the need for data security becomes even more pronounced. While huge entities can afford to build complex firewalls and fallback systems, small businesses need to take a proactive approach in keeping mission-critical information safe.
An escalating cost
If business owners don't attempt to reinforce their digital security practices at all, the potential fallout becomes increasingly pronounced. In fact, while there's the reputation loss that a cyber breach can present to consider - especially if customer information is leaked to the wider world - the monetary cost is considerable.
A research report collated by digital security specialists Kaspersky found that the average cost of a significant cyberattack on a small business is US$38,000.
That may sound like a relatively insignificant amount of money in the short-term, but if the company doesn't reinforce it's defences and experiences two or three intrusions a year, the costs can soon spiral.
Cybersecurity in New Zealand
Research collated by Netsafe surmised that there are three types of cyberattack that are prominent in New Zealand. They are; ransomware, hacked websites and intercepted emails. Combatting the issues can be relatively simple, as it's typically just a case of educating staff on best practices.
Netsafe suggested that small businesses should ensure that each employee has a clear view of their rights and responsibilities in the digital space, while also ensuring that certain processes are doubly protected.
Specifically, when exchanging financial details, SME owners can implement a two-person rule which sees all correspondence checked by a couple of employees before being sent.
Ultimately, cybersecurity will continue to be a big issue for small businesses. Those that can be pragmatic and raise awareness of threats amongst their employees will likely have the best chance of remaining safe in the digital space.