As if 2020 wasn’t “fun” enough (emphasis on the quote marks), 2021 has its barrel of challenges, too. For small and medium-sized enterprises, it’s business cybersecurity.

While it’s easy to associate cybersecurity breaches with big companies that make headlines – think Equifax, Marriott, eBay, Target, etc. – it’s important to remember that data breaches occur at small and medium-sized companies, too. Nearly half of all attacks are aimed at small businesses. Sadly, 60 percent of companies targeted fail within six months following the attack.

Consider this your abbreviated reason to care about business cybersecurity list:

  • Customers Matter – With data breaches large and small, it’s easy to focus on numbers only. But it’s people that matter most. And with addresses, bank accounts, and medical records at stake, losing this personal data means losing your customers, possibly for good.
  • Reputation Rehab – As data security becomes increasingly critical, savvy customers will do business only with companies they can trust. Investing in your brand’s cybersecurity needs ensures long-term buy-in.
  • Costly Cleanup – If you’re the victim of a data breach, the costs can add up. First, there’s the investigation itself. But there’s also public relations damage control, stock prices to worry about, not to mention legal and consulting fees.
  • Don’t Be “That Guy” – or Girl – Once you’ve experienced a cyberattack, chances are you’ve lost customers for life. And the long tail means attracting, retaining, and engaging new ones will prove difficult.
  • An Ounce of Prevention… Is worth pounds of a cure. Updating outdated software and hardware, investing in appropriate human resources, and maintaining robust disaster recovery policies are less costly than an actual attack.

With the holiday season behind us, as businesses tally their end-of-year profits and resolve to do better in 2021, protecting your customers’ information and your business’s proprietary data should be your top concern.