## The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
Owning a small business often requires taking calculated risks. However, ignoring cybersecurity risks is not a gamble worth taking. Cybersecurity threats have been increasing, and the government has taken notice. To address this issue, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has launched the Shields Up program, designed to protect American businesses from malicious cyber activity.
While awaiting regulatory agencies to mandate security upgrades may seem like a cost-effective solution, it can be risky. Any company, including government contractors and subcontractors, must comply with various cybersecurity frameworks, including NIST 800-171 and FAR 52.204-21. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program is another framework designed to protect the defense industrial base.
Delaying cybersecurity measures can also lead to missed contract opportunities, business interruption, and reputation damage. Additionally, cyber insurance policies may not cover all losses incurred from a data hack or ransom.
### The Reality Check
Small businesses are the ideal target for ransomware hackers. Unfortunately, the cost of cybersecurity may seem daunting. The reality is that the average cost for a data breach in a small company is $108,000 – not to mention the disruption, recovery, unanticipated costs, customer frustrations, and lost contracts that can result. However, cybersecurity can be a competitive advantage, as it builds customer and partner trust.
### Getting Started with Cybersecurity Measures
Begin to plan for cybersecurity measures by talking numbers. A cybersecurity services company can provide a basic assessment and estimate free of charge. Understanding the standards and where you stand now can allow you to plan ahead and budget for security.
Identifying all of your digital assets is the first step in securing them. Conduct a thorough audit of your digital ecosystem to understand your attack surface and plan for ongoing monitoring.
Revisit your incident response plan and practice it with your team. Additionally, ensure that all employees with network access understand the plan. It may be helpful to have written procedures and a printed phone tree that clearly spells out whom to contact and under what circumstances.
Backing up data is essential. Develop an ironclad schedule for backing up all data and testing procedures for restoring information.
Taking cybersecurity measures is not a gamble – it’s a necessary investment in your business’s future and reputation. Cybersecurity-building steps often start with a slow roll and pick-up speed as companies understand more about their requirements and the business benefits of a robust security stance. If you need help with cybersecurity for your small business, DTS provides tailored, scalable cyber solutions.