While there might be headline news about large companies such as British Airways suffering massive data breaches and receiving huge fines, the general consensus is that the company will survive, based on its size, reputation and resources.
But what about smaller companies? If you’re an up and coming company trying to build a reputation and business, a data breach could set you back years or finish the company altogether. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 25% of small businesses file for bankruptcy protection, and 10% go out of business after a data breach. Consumer trust may never be established if a company does recover, and years of hard work will be thrown down the drain.
Most major companies will have cybersecurity training in place for employees, or a dedicated cybersecurity team reporting to a CIO. Seeing how human error is a huge factor in successful data breaches, this is of paramount importance. Small companies may not necessarily have this area in mind, or it may be at the bottom of the list due to their priorities and budget. This leads to hackers taking advantage of an easy opportunity left open by a business that won’t think it will ever be targeted.
Big Business Compared to Small Business
If we compare two data breaches of companies in the same industry, with one being an established, large company and one being a locally run business, the differing outcomes can be illuminating. South Korean Telemarketing giant KT Corporation lost over 12 million customer records in 2014. As of 2020, it is still the country’s largest telemarketing company. In comparison, the CEO of a telemarketing company in the USA had to let go of 300 employees after the company servers were hacked, causing them to suspend their services and eventually close down.
Cybercriminals do not discriminate, and will exploit any vulnerable area. Look at the sports industry in the UK. Just recently, the email address of a Premier League MD got hacked this summer during a transfer negotiation, with £1 million nearly ending up in the hands of a group of fraudsters. Even if this theft were successful, the financial ramifications would not be too extreme. On the other hand, if a local sports club had a data breach, it would be catastrophic. The average cost of a successful cyber-attack to sports clubs in the UK is £10,000. For many amateur clubs, this would spell the end of their club.
If you’re a small company, cybersecurity may not be at the top of your list. But there are affordable solutions out there that can give small and upcoming businesses piece of mind. Seeing as phishing is the number one threat to small businesses, a secure email encryption service would be a logical and easy solution in combatting this problem.