When you hear of a new cybersecurity threat on the news, what type of business do you think is most likely to be the victim of an attack? We suspect that your first thought will be of a huge multi-million pound corporation such as Yahoo or TalkTalk with thousands of customers and a large workforce too. But what about entrepreneurs such as yourself who are just starting out in the world of business – how safe are you from the threat of the cyber scammers?

You might be surprised to learn that when it comes to falling foul of cyber criminals, entrepreneurs like you are certainly at risk. In fact, a 2016 study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 55% of small and medium-sized companies had experienced an attack by a hacker in the last year, and 50% reported a data breach incident, proving that entrepreneurs face the same threat of cyber attacks as much larger corporations. With those statistics in mind, in our latest blog post we take a look at five reasons why entrepreneurs need to focus on cybersecurity and take the threat more seriously – read on to find out more and ensure your business is protected!

SMEs are next on the cybersecurity hackers target list

As we’ve already mentioned, big businesses have been subject to cyber attacks for many years. However, they have now woken up to the huge threat against them, and more of them are now investing in the technical tools, skills and resources that they need to protect themselves from the threat of phishing emails and ransomware. As a result of this, cyber criminals are aware that it is now a lot more difficult for them to target these type of companies moving forward – and therefore it’s only a matter of time before they turn their attention to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may just be starting out and are less likely to have invested in cybersecurity protection.

Your reputation is at stake

In the early days of your business, building a strong reputation is really important. In order to do this, you need to gain the trust of your customers – which is something that a cyber attack can destroy in a matter of seconds. Think about how your customers will react knowing that because you didn’t have cybersecurity protection in place, their personal details have made their way into the hands of criminals – do you think they will be as willing to do business with you in the future? It’s so important to show your customers that you take IT security seriously.

Competitors could take the advantage

Think about how you’d cope if you were the unwitting victim of a cyber attack – would your business still be able to operate? If your IT systems were down and your bank accounts compromised, what would you do? It’s likely that a cyber attack could halt your operations completely if it was severe enough and you weren’t prepared, leaving the opportunity open for your competitors to come in and do business with your customers instead.

Investors may decide to go elsewhere

As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that the backing of investors is essential to the success of your business goals. But did you know that cybersecurity has become a key focus for investors considering investment opportunities today? The 2017 Global Investor Survey by PWC revealed that 73% of the investment professional respondents identified cyber threats as an area of concern. This, therefore, proves that as the threat of cyber attacks becomes much more serious, investors want to ensure that their investments are protected in the event of a hack. This means that entrepreneurs such as yourself need to prove that you have taken steps to protect your business if the worse should happen, so it’s vital to ensure that you are aware of potential threats and can prove that your business is prepared – otherwise you risk investors taking their money elsewhere.

Protect staff – your most important asset

As an entrepreneur, you might be operating as a one-man band or you might be starting to build a team around you. Whether you have one employee or 10, it’s important to ensure that they’re aware of the threat of cybersecurity attacks and know how to react. For example, you should have two-step authentication on emails as standard and you should ensure that staff can recognise the signs of a phishing email too. By taking steps to protect your staff and investing in staff training, you will not only reinforce to your team that you are committed to protecting your business and its operations, but that you take their security seriously too.

At RAW IT, we provide cybersecurity protection against hackers and cybercriminals to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the UK. With 15+ years’ experience of working with large businesses, we are now focussing our expertise on advising, securing and protecting small businesses, allowing them to focus on growing their business knowing that their data, website, files and details of their clients are safe.