Why is cybersecurity important for a business? The number of cyber-attacks is increasing; 2021 saw a 15.1% increase in data breaches and cyber-attacks over the previous year.

As technology continues to advance, so do the methods used by cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities and steal valuable information. The consequences of a cyber-attack can be devastating for a business, ranging from financial losses to reputational damage.

Companies must invest in cybersecurity solutions to protect their business from cyber threats; the costs of experiencing a cyber-attack are much higher than the cost of implementing effective security measures.

Understanding the importance of cybersecurity solutions can help business owners safeguard their personal data, protect their brand reputation, and ensure the continuity of their business operations.

Why Is Cybersecurity So Important for Business?

With the proliferation of digital technologies, the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches has never been higher. This makes it essential for companies to prioritize cybersecurity and take proactive steps to protect their data and networks. Two reasons why your company needs a robust cybersecurity system include:

Increasing Cybercrimes

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the annual global cost of cybercrime is projected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015. By 2031, experts predict that one business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 2 seconds. These alarming statistics show the growing threat of cybercrime and the need for companies to take cybersecurity seriously.

The Impact of Data Breaches on Brands

Data breaches can cause irreparable damage to a business’s reputation, erode customer trust, and lead to legal and financial penalties. According to a 2022 study by IBM, the average data breach cost is $4.35 million per incident.

Besides the financial costs, data breaches can also lead to a loss of intellectual property, sensitive business information, and trade secrets. Investing in cybersecurity can prevent data breaches and minimize their impact on a company’s bottom line.

Cybersecurity Risks Businesses Need to be Aware Of

Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in networks and systems to steal sensitive data, disrupt operations, or cause other types of damage. Some of the most critical cybersecurity risks businesses need to be aware of include the following:

Social Engineering

Cybercriminals use social engineering to manipulate people into divulging sensitive information or performing an action that can lead to a data breach. Social engineering attacks include phishing emails, phone calls, or social media messages.

Businesses should regularly train and retrain their employees to recognize and avoid social engineering attacks to minimize the risk of a data breach. Employee education on this topic is essential as the human element remains a weak point in any cybersecurity strategy.

Third-Party Risk

The interconnected business landscape means third-party vendors are crucial in most companies’ operations. Businesses often share sensitive information with third-party vendors, such as cloud providers, software vendors, or payment processors. However, if these vendors are not secure, they can become an entry point for cybercriminals.

Vetting third-party vendors to assess their cybersecurity posture and identify potential vulnerabilities is a critical step for businesses to protect their interests. Implementing strict policies and procedures for managing third-party access and performing regular audits can help mitigate the risk of a data breach through a third-party vendor.

Privileged Access Management

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is an essential security practice that restricts access to sensitive data and systems to a select few authorized users. However, PAM itself can also be a cybersecurity risk if not adequately managed.

According to a study by Centrify, 74% of data breaches involve privileged account access. When privileged accounts fall into the wrong hands, they can allow hackers to steal sensitive information, disrupt operations, and install malware. Organizations need to implement robust PAM solutions to protect against these risks and safeguard their sensitive data.

The Consequences of Insufficient Cybersecurity

Failing to invest in sufficient cybersecurity measures can have severe consequences for businesses of all sizes, including:

Economic Costs

The economic costs of a cyber-attack can range from lost business to regulatory fines and legal fees. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to economic costs because they may need more financial resources to absorb the impact of a cyber-attack. A National Cyber Security Alliance study found that 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack go out of business within six months.

Reputational Costs

A data breach can severely impact a business’s reputation, especially if the violation involves customer data. Customers are becoming more aware of the risks of data breaches and expect companies to take cybersecurity seriously. If a business suffers a data breach, customers may lose trust in the company, resulting in lost revenue.

Regulatory Costs

Many industries are subject to regulations that require businesses to implement adequate cybersecurity measures. For example, the healthcare industry is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires companies to implement security measures to protect patient data.

Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty fines and legal fees. The annual penalty cap for a single tier 4 HIPAA violation is $1,919,173. Multiple violations could quickly bankrupt a small business.

Examples of Damages to Companies Affected By Cyber-attacks and Data Breaches

Many high-profile companies have suffered from cyber-attacks and data breaches in recent years, leading to substantial economic and reputational damage. Some major cyber-attacks and data breaches from the previous decade include:


The Equifax data breach of 2017 is considered one of the most devastating data breaches in history. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in the company’s web application software, which was left unpatched for months. Hackers exploited the vulnerability and accessed the personal information of approximately 148 million consumers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The exposed data included names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The breach had a catastrophic impact on Equifax’s reputation, as the company faced widespread criticism for its mismanagement of the incident.

Equifax has faced many lawsuits, investigations by regulatory authorities, and substantial financial loss. The company’s stock price dropped by over 30% in the breach’s aftermath, resulting in a loss of market value of approximately $5 billion.


In 2014, eBay suffered a data breach that compromised the personal information of 145 million users. The breach was caused by cybercriminals who infiltrated eBay’s network using the compromised credentials of three employees. The attackers accessed a database containing users’ names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords.

eBay waited several months before disclosing the incident to its users, resulting in heavy criticism for mishandling the violation and damaging its brand. eBay also faced regulatory fines in several countries, including the United Kingdom, for failing to adequately protect its users’ personal information and the costs associated with investigating the breach and implementing additional security measures.


Yahoo experienced two major data breaches in 2013 and 2014 that remained undiscovered until 2016. The initial breach compromised the personal information of one billion Yahoo user accounts, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords.

The second breach exposed the personal information of all three billion Yahoo user accounts. These breaches irreparably damaged Yahoo’s reputation, resulting in a lower acquisition price by Verizon. The company has also faced numerous lawsuits and investigations by regulatory authorities.

Various factors, including outdated security practices and poor password management, caused the breaches. The incidents highlighted the importance of implementing robust cybersecurity measures and regular security audits to protect against cyber threats.

Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

While small businesses may not have the same resources as larger corporations to invest in cybersecurity measures, there are still crucial cybersecurity practices they can implement to reduce the risk of a data breach. Some essential cybersecurity tips for small businesses include:

Start with a Cybersecurity Assessment

The first step in improving cybersecurity is to conduct a cybersecurity assessment. An assessment identifies the business’s vulnerabilities and helps develop a plan to address them.

Working with a cybersecurity consultant is the best way to assess your current IT security strength. A fresh perspective can provide a more comprehensive and robust analysis and pinpoint areas often overlooked by in-house IT teams.

Employee Training in Security Principles

Employee error accounts for numerous vulnerabilities that can open your IT system to attack. Training employees on security principles, such as recognizing and avoiding phishing emails, creating strong passwords, and securing their devices, is critical. Small businesses can hire a managed IT service to provide this training through in-person or online sessions.

Firewalls and Network Protection

Firewalls are essential for protecting a business’s network from cyber-attacks. A firewall is a software or hardware device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic. Small companies must put a firewall in place and have it configured correctly.

Secure Wi-Fi Networks and Mobile Device Action Plans

Wi-Fi networks must be secure, and businesses should ensure employees are not connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Small businesses must also develop a mobile device action plan outlining the security measures employees should take when using mobile devices for work.

Backup and Access Control Strategies

Backing up important data is critical for small businesses. Regularly backing up data and storing the backups in a secure location is the ideal way for a small business to secure its data. Access control strategies, such as limiting access to sensitive data, must also be limited to authorized employees only.

Passwords and Authentication

Passwords are an essential line of defense against cyber-attacks. It is critical that employees use strong passwords and change them regularly. Ideal passwords include those with a combination of upper and lowercase characters, non-alphanumeric characters, or memorable phrases.

Small businesses can also implement multi-factor authentication, which requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication, such as e-mail or SMS verification, before accessing sensitive data.

Cybersecurity as a Key Productivity Hack for Your Business

Cybersecurity as a Key Productivity Hack for Your Business

Implementing cybersecurity measures can benefit a business beyond reducing the risk of a data breach. Good cybersecurity can also be an excellent productivity hack. Two ways that your company can increase productivity with cybersecurity include:

Develop an Effective Cybersecurity Plan

Developing an effective cybersecurity plan is critical for any business that wants to protect its assets, reputation, and customer information. A comprehensive cybersecurity risk management framework can help a business identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, establish policies and procedures for responding to cyber threats, and allocate resources effectively to mitigate risks.

A cybersecurity plan can also ensure employees are trained and educated on cybersecurity best practices, reducing the likelihood of human error leading to a data breach. An effective cybersecurity plan can help businesses maintain the trust of their customers and shareholders, avoid costly data breaches, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Regular Risk Assessments and IT System Updates

Regular risk assessments and IT system updates are essential for businesses to stay ahead of potential cybersecurity threats. Conducting regular risk assessments allows a business to identify potential vulnerabilities in its systems and networks and take proactive steps to address them before an attack occurs. IT system updates are also crucial for reducing the risk of a data breach.

Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities in software and systems, and timely updates can patch these vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

Outsource Your Cybersecurity for Business Growth

Cybersecurity is vital for businesses that use digital systems and store sensitive data. However, outsourcing cybersecurity can be a wise choice for business growth if you do not have the resources for a dedicated IT team. By partnering with a trusted managed security services provider, you can focus on your core business operations while ensuring that your cybersecurity is in capable hands.

National Technology Management can help you with your cybersecurity needs by providing comprehensive security solutions tailored to your business requirements. Don’t wait until a cyber-attack happens; take action now to safeguard your business. Contact NTM to learn why cybersecurity is important for your business in a free consultation.


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