The Value of Cybersecurity for SMBs

Zach DeMeyer
June 29, 2023

Small businesses have a lot to manage, from daily operations to acquiring new clients. Successfully scaling requires figuring out various aspects. With everything on their plates, it's not surprising that some things are of lower priority.

Unfortunately, cybersecurity often falls into that category. Small businesses sometimes think that they are too small to be targeted. However, given the prevalence of advanced threats today, that is no longer the case.

Malicious actors can range from sophisticated nation-state groups to teenagers operating out of their parents' basements. Ransomware and malware can be purchased and sold like any other business software, enabling anyone to cause havoc. Phishing emails can be sent to hundreds of unsuspecting recipients in a matter of seconds.

For context, small businesses experienced a 200% increase in attacks between 2021 and 2022. Of those attacks, nearly 80% involved some type of ransomware and all of them were financially motivated. Additionally, Mastercard found that 66% of SMBs faced at least one cyber incident in the past two years.

Clearly, cybersecurity is no longer optional for small businesses. Although it can take time and expertise to implement, cybersecurity provides immense value for businesses of any size, but especially for small businesses.

The Value of Cybersecurity for SMBs

When thinking about the benefits of cybersecurity to your business, it’s important to first consider the worst-case scenario: being breached.

The Cost of a Breach

Security breaches have massive ramifications on a business, and for small businesses, those ramifications can be even more impactful:

Financial Damage

The direct consequence of a breach is financial payment. With ransomware, a bad actor takes control of your data, holding it hostage to be leaked or destroyed until you pay them. In many cases, ransomware perpetrators often demand more than one payment, costing the affected business thousands of dollars to get back to business as usual. According to Business.com, the global average cost of a data breach involving an SMB ranged from $120,000 to $1.24M. Threat actors can also leverage Business Email Compromise (BEC) to intercept or re-direct payments, among many other tactics that enable them to make money off your data.

Downtime

The next common consequence is downtime. When a business is involved in a data breach, the downed systems and time spent recovering from the breach mean a loss in business continuity. Those lost periods can account for even more monetary losses as the company cannot carry out the nature of its business. According to IBM, over 30% of the associated cost of a data breach was due to business losses.

For example, if a manufacturing plant goes down for 72 hours due to a breach, the result is more than just 72 hours of lost production time. It’s also a 72-hour lag on orders that need to ship, 72 hours of paying empty electric bills or lease fees . . . the list goes on.

Loss of Credibility

In addition to these issues is a loss of credibility and brand impact. Breached companies tend to be viewed less favorably by new and existing customers. Although large enterprises can usually shrug this off, small businesses can’t afford to lose customers or the ability to bring in new ones. In this case, a breach can be disastrous for a small business.

This is especially true for companies like non-profits. If you depend on donors to operate, and those donors’ information is leaked in a breach, they likely won’t contribute to your cause for much longer.

Advantages of Effective Cybersecurity

With a strong cybersecurity posture, businesses are more apt to defend against breaches that threaten their ability to provide for their customers and make money. Beyond avoiding the negative financial outcomes of a breach, SMBs experience other benefits from strong cybersecurity posture.

Protecting the “crown jewels”

Strong cybersecurity enables a company to protect the core aspects their business is based around. This could range anywhere from cash to customer information/data, to intellectual property, and everywhere in between. These are all critical aspects of the business and need to be protected at all costs because the life of the business literally depends on them. Beyond maintaining continuity, protecting these assets also leads to overall resiliency, which benefits everyone—employees, customers, vendors, partners, etc.

Positive brand association and competitive differentiation

Additionally, strong cybersecurity is generally viewed positively by stakeholders in the business. This can include customers being more likely to purchase from companies that take good care of their data. It can also be other businesses that partner with a company: When choosing between two bids for a supplier, a potential partner will likely opt for the one that hasn't had a breach over the one that has. By demonstrating a strong cybersecurity posture, companies can separate themselves from competitors who aren't as forthcoming about their ability to defend themselves and their customers' data.

Compliance and other audits

Another benefit of strong cybersecurity for small businesses is performance in regulatory compliance and other audits. In truth, compliance with industry standards usually just scratches the surface of strong cybersecurity. However, businesses with an excellent framework in place are far more likely to perform successfully in their next audit. Returning to the point above, compliance is just another proof point for customers and other third parties to know that business has their best interests and the security of their data in mind.

Return on investment

Cybersecurity revolves around three key facets for success: people, processes, and technology, or PPT. Implementing a cybersecurity program will inevitably require investment in each part of PPT to promote the best possible security. While the upfront cost and labor may seem like a cost, when done strategically it can turn into a competitive advantage that provides peace of mind to empower you to focus on your business objectives and growth.

How Todyl can help

Todyl’s mission is to empower businesses of any size with a complete, end-to-end security program to achieve stronger security. Our all-in-one platform is the only comprehensive security solution available on the market. We work with hundreds of channel partners who can provide their expertise in cybersecurity and IT to help your business succeed.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to receive the latest insights, news, and updates from Todyl.

Additional reading

Why I joined Todyl: Mike Hanauer
How to increase trust with cyber insurance carriers
Why MDR platform breadth and depth matters

Todyl updates

Sign-up to get the latest from Todyl sent straight to your inbox.