Cities, enterprises, nonprofits, small businesses and your organization are all united by one commonality: the threat cybercriminals pose. A successful attack harms more than your finances and will impact every facet of your business. 60% of small businesses will close after being hit with a cyberattack. The right IT investments prevent attacks and limit downtime and damage during a worst-case scenario. Below are 4 costs to consider and the solutions you can use to protect your business.

1. Cybercriminals Will Demand Money

Without adequate security measures in place, cybercriminals can repeatedly infiltrate your network, lock your systems and demand a ransom. It’s lucrative for the hacker and the victims’ costs are quickly rising. A study by Coveware found the average ransomware demand increased from $6,733 in Q4, 2018, to $12,762 in Q1, 2019. Your insurance policy likely will not cover the cost of ransomware, forcing you to find room in your budget to retrieve your data.

Having backups in place prevents paying hackers and provides peace of mind

No business should be in the position where they are forced to pay a ransomware demand to retrieve critical files. Robust, secure cloud-based backups are the best way to avoid paying ransomware. Work with an IT expert to establish how much data you need to recover, and how quickly you need to be back online, to create a backup solution that will minimize your downtime while ensuring that no critical files are unrecoverable. You’ll have peace of mind and an affordable cost per month as part of your IT budget instead of finding money to pay hackers.

2. Paying Doesn’t Resolve the Threat

When Lake City, Florida, was attacked, officials chose to pay the $460,000 ransom because they calculated it would be less costly than recovery. But, paying doesn’t guarantee success. Cybercriminals can take your money and leave your systems encrypted, infect you with different types of malware or target you again. Unless you thoroughly assess your systems after the attack, you’ll never know which vulnerability allowed the breach to occur.

Employee threat training costs less than ransomware

With at least 80% of ransomware attacks coming from phishing emails, one of the most cost-effective protective measures you can take is to provide security awareness training to your team on a biannual basis. The training teaches your team to recognize the methods savvy cybercriminal use – like sending emails mimicking invoices sent by your clients. Training is inexpensive – especially when you compare it to the cost of a breach – and your staff will apply what they learn immediately to your organization.

Schedule an assessment today to discover potential gaps in your IT infrastructure and prevent attacks.

3. Downtime is Unavoidable During the Attack

Successful malware attacks grind your operations to a halt. Your team can’t communicate or work with clients; customers can’t place orders or engage your services. The longer you’re down, the more money and productivity you lose. In 2019, the average cost of downtime related to ransomware attacks was estimated at $46,800 by leading industry analysts.

Incident response plans protect your business

Proper security measures reduce threats, but no single solution is bulletproof. It’s better to be prepared and have an incident response plan you can rely on. It could be the difference between staying open and being forced to turn away customers, like this business that was unprepared for disaster.

Have a cyber incident response plan ready – download our free checklist to get started.

4. Cyberattacks Damage Your Reputation

Potential customers will turn to your competitors, due to privacy and security concerns. Your current clients will stop recommending you to their peers and some will leave your business for a competitor, especially if their information was compromised. In some cases, you can expect negative press coverage, branding you with the stigma of having been successfully breached.

A comprehensive defense protects your data and business’ bottom line

The days when you could rely on one security tool are gone. Also gone are the days of security being only for large corporations. To survive the new threat landscape, you need layers of security that create a comprehensive defense that prevents expensive attacks, damage to your reputation and crippling downtime – like what we built into our SecureCentric service, which includes threat monitoring, breach detection, security awareness training and secure backups.

To Mitigate Damage, Invest in IT Security Solutions

One of our clients, John Balfanz Homes, had offsite backups installed right before an attack occurred. Without them, the building company would have lost critical data and spent a significant amount of time and money trying to restore their systems. The sooner you can start to plan for and prevent a cyberattack, the more successful your preparations will be when a breach occurs.

Read more about the incident and how our network monitoring services prevented malware from infecting John Balfanz Homes’ systems.

If you’re breached, treat it like a crime scene. Contact your managed services provider immediately to preserve the evidence, assess the damage, create a plan to get critical operations online and determine how the threat infiltrated your systems.

Have security questions or concerns?

The dangers facing your business will continually evolve. We’re here to help. Contact us today to develop a cyber security and disaster preparedness plan tailored to your organization.