Today’s hackers are equal opportunity when it comes to choosing targets. Whether you run a small business or a large multinational, you can fall victim to cybersecurity attacks.

For new businesses, start-ups, and mom-and-pop stores that might be ill-equipped to navigate an attack, data breach costs may very well spell the end of the company.

Having contingency plans in place in the event of a major security incident can help safeguard the future of your business. However, when it comes to mitigating the risk of a cybersecurity attack, it can be difficult to know where to start.

An effective strategy should be informed by everything about your business, from the type of data it collects to estimated data breach costs and recovery costs.

Our IT team has put together some tips and tools to help you wade through the waters of cybersecurity, including a data breach cost calculator to make sure that your company is not caught financially off-guard.

Use Our Data Breach Cost Calculator

In order to set plans and procedures in motion that will efficiently mitigate harm, it’s essential to have a clear picture of the damage a breach could inflict on your business.

While the risk to your business’s reputation and goodwill may be difficult to anticipate, a data breach cost or cyber exposure calculator can help put your financial risks in perspective so you can make a more accurate assessment about what’s at stake.


Do a Cybersecurity Audit and Make Updates to Your System

When formulating your cybersecurity strategy, identifying the risks in your current IT infrastructure is an essential starting point.

Reviewing the current threats and vulnerabilities in your systems lays the foundation for a risk-based response that can help protect your business and its customers.

commencing a data breach risk calculation

When formulating your cybersecurity strategy, identifying the risks in your current IT infrastructure is an essential starting point.

Reviewing the current threats and vulnerabilities in your systems lays the foundation for a risk-based response that can help protect your business and its customers.

By definition, an audit is a comprehensive review of the regulations, systems, and practices in place in any business, company, or organization. While conducting an internal audit with the help of your business’s IT team is cost-efficient, an external audit with the help of experienced consultants may produce more objective results.

To kick-start the review process, your team should identify the various attack vectors or pathways that hackers may take advantage of. Your email communications, software, and hardware can all present vulnerabilities. Recognizing these vectors is key to understanding the risks and attack methods that your systems are vulnerable to.

Next, record the various security tools employed by your business to guard against cybersecurity threats. This record should include an analysis of your access control systems, storage, encryption, and monitoring methods. Your security chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so be on the lookout for security flaws and gaps.

In today’s AI tech-friendly business landscape, cybersecurity is not just for billion-dollar companies. Firewalls, antivirus software, and other affordable tools can help shore up your business’s cybersecurity.

On a surface level, address any obvious security concerns such as communication systems, which may be subject to malware programs and phishing attempts; and weak access credentials, which may leave you vulnerable to hacking as well.

Malware removal and protection software can easily be integrated into your communication systems, while strong passwords that include a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols can reduce the risk of a brute-force attack.

Here are simple password tips to assist you in your review process. A new study reports that 31 percent of hacking victims used the same passwords for numerous log-ins, so be sure to use various passwords and to change your passwords regularly.

Where possible, enlist the help of multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA will add an extra layer of security to your authentication process by introducing additional measures, such as one-time passwords (OTPs).

That said, one of the most common ways data breaches occur is through human error.

Leaving files or computers unattended, for example, can result in a breach. Organizing a security education program for your employees can help raise awareness about their role in mitigating the risk of being hacked.

Conduct a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

When it comes to how much your business is liable for in the event of a cybersecurity disaster, the rules and regulations will vary depending on location.

Each state has its own set of privacy and data-protection laws designed to protect your customers. Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations will minimize the risks and costs associated with a cyber breach, including regulator fines and class action lawsuits.

Your business has a 60% risk of failure within six months of a cyberattack. In other words, following a breach, your business is more likely to fail than not. Establishing your data breach risk level will help you determine essential next steps.

A security risk assessment conducted by a qualified cybersecurity company will set you on the right path toward protecting your business. The risk assessment should examine communications, access control measures, and employee awareness.

A recent study in the scientific journal ProQuest reports that the effects of a cyber breach have wide-reaching implications. The study states cyberattacks travel “beyond IT departments and the originating agencies, as system and network borders no longer restrict static data. Dynamic interconnections among entities (e.g., third parties, customers, and the public) encourage the free flow of data where the ‘system boundaries’ are often beyond an agency’s physical walls.”

If your business collects sensitive or personally identifiable information such as patient data or social security numbers from its customers, then your storage and encryption methods will be subject to the most scrutiny. Remember that when handling credit card transactions and payments, it is also important to secure the data by adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Such breaches can attract class-action lawsuits from consumers and steep regulator fines, which charge a cost per record exposed and range from a couple of dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.

Remember that your business and its customers aren’t the only victims of a cyberattack. Your employees and business partners can be impacted, too. Though the costs of mitigating harm may be relatively high, investing in cybersecurity measures now may prevent irreparable damage to your business and its stakeholders in the future.

Keep Your Small Business Safe!

Triada Networks can be your partner that will provide long-term protection!

We have more than twenty years of experience working with financial firms, so you can be assured that we’ll take care of your every need.