The Rising Need for IT Support in Small Business Data Protection

A gold padlock resting atop a white computer keyboard

Data is practically the lifeblood of business operations. And that means protecting it is paramount, especially concerning data security for small businesses. This is particularly true for them, where data breach and loss consequences can be devastating. 

Consider Accenture’s cybercrime study, which reports only 14% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that face cyberattacks are prepared to combat — let alone prevent — such threats. What’s more, SMBs spent between $826 and $653,587 on data security incidents in 2024. 

No matter whether the cost is on the low or high side, it may be detrimental to your business. Because SMBs already run on tight budgets, any unexpected cost can seriously curb operations. So the need for robust IT support grows as SMBs collectively rely on digital infrastructure across industries. 

Before we go further, let’s delve deeper into why the need for IT support for data protection is rising.

[Related: When It Comes to Cybersecurity, Free and Easy Doesn’t Cut It]

Man in small business sitting in Front of Computer

Why Do So Many Small Businesses Fall Victim to Cyberattacks?

Small businesses often face unique data protection challenges. Limited resources is a top issue. And lack of expertise due to small staff sizes leaves most SMBs vulnerable to cyberthreats and data loss. 

After all, the average small business has 100 employees at most, and it usually doesn’t employ a specialized, in-house data security team.

Compliance Regulations

The evolving regulatory landscape places additional pressure on businesses to safeguard customer data — or face severe penalties:

But in some cases, it’s not just a penny-pinching scenario to meet those compliance requirements. It’s also flat-out confusing to figure them out. Regulations might change based on specific business factors:

  • Number of employees
  • Annual revenue
  • Your customers’ location

It’s of course critical to comply with laws, but keeping up is difficult because they change regularly. 

Technological Complexities

Technology’s increasing complexity is one of the key reasons for the rising need for  IT support in small business data protection

The rapid expansion of the digital ecosystem, from cloud computing to mobile devices to Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets, presents new cyberattack avenues. Small businesses, lacking in-house knowledge to effectively navigate this complexity, become easy targets for cybercriminals, underscoring the importance of data security for small businesses.

Remote Work Concerns

The shift to remote work has heightened cybersecurity risks for small businesses. Employees accessing company data from personal devices or unsecured networks can inadvertently expose sensitive information. 

In fact, human error is the leading cause of data breaches. 

A 2023 Thales Global Security study reports that 55% of nearly 3,000 companies saw a data breach from human error. And according to Stanford University researchers, 88% of overall breaches resulted from human error. 

Macbook Pro on Brown Wooden Table showing map

[Related: Workplace Productivity Is Changing. Here’s What Research Says]

Prevalence of Ransomware

The prevalence of scams and ransomware attacks underscores the urgency of data security for small businesses, emphasizing the essential role of IT support in protecting their data.

These malicious software programs encrypt data and demand payment for its release, posing a significant threat to any-sized business. But depending on the ransom amount and the IT support available to combat these threats, small businesses suffer more than large franchises

Without proper backup systems and cybersecurity protocols in place, small businesses risk losing critical data. Even worse, the threat may force them out of operation entirely.

Fortunately, there are steps to take to enhance data security for small businesses with the help of IT support. We’ll review them briefly next. 

[Related: Making the Case for Managed Services]

1. Risk Assessment

IT support experts like those at CMIT Solutions of Seattle analyze your current cybersecurity situation in a few ways:

  • Conducting a thorough risk assessment
  • Identifying potential vulnerabilities
  • Prioritizing areas for improvement. 

This helps them develop a comprehensive strategy to mitigate risks of all kinds.

2. Security Awareness Training

As we stated earlier, human error causes most data breaches. Educating employees about cybersecurity best practices helps prevent them. 

Training programs and certificates are available for guidance, but an IT provider can explain the newest threats that are more specific to your line of business. Hired IT providers can also offer one-on-one guidance to educate you and your employees even further. 

Some of the top security awareness training programs include lessons on how to recognize and respond to phishing attempts and create strong password policies.

[Related: 7 Ways To Strengthen Your Data Security Awareness and Training]

3. Security Solution Implementation

From firewalls and antivirus software to encryption and multi-factor authentication, numerous security solutions are available to protect your small business from cyberthreats. 

IT support specialists not only recommend and implement the right tools but also advise on how to combine (and use) them effectively to bolster data security for small businesses.

[Related: Will Your Data Be There When You Need It?]

4. Backup and Recovery Planning

Regular data backups are crucial for lessening the impact of ransomware attacks and other data loss incidents, no questions asked. 

IT support professionals are key assets to small businesses when it comes to developing robust backup and recovery plans. This is especially useful if your SMB doesn’t know how to — or doesn’t have time to — create and carry out these plans. 

With the help of IT experts, you can rest assured that your business maintains continuity in the event of a data breach.

[Related: Why Digital Resilience Is So Important]

5. Compliance Assistance

Staying compliant with industry regulations and data protection laws is essential for small businesses operating in any industry. 

IT support experts can provide guidance on compliance requirements and help your small business implement policies and procedures that meet regulatory standards to a T. You then don’t have to worry about those often hefty (and startling) fines and penalties. 

[Related: 12 New Year’s Tech Resolutions for 2024]

Contact CMIT Solutions of Seattle for Small Business Data Protection

Your small business is left exposed to data breaches without adequate IT support to implement and enforce security measures.Prepare for the worst, and bolster your data security for small businesses with the help of IT specialists. 

CMIT Solutions of Seattle offers a range of services to help ensure your business’s sensitive information both stays secure and maintains its integrity in multiple scenarios. 

Contact us today if you’re ready to boost your data protection!

Featured image via Unsplash

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