The recent data on cybersecurity risks don’t favor small-based businesses. In a Verizon report, about 28% of the data breaches occurred in small enterprises. Another study revealed that at least 60% of companies with no more than a thousand employees experienced a cyberattack.
The effects of any cybersecurity offense on a small business are horrendous. Over half of them will likely close within six months after the incident. They also cost them a whopping $200,000, which makes it even more difficult to survive.
Yet only a small percentage of small companies prepare for such attacks. In 2018, Verizon shared that fewer than 15% can defend themselves. While many factors influence their decision not to invest in IT, the first on the list is cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Run an IT Team?
To understand the costs of running an IT department, it’s best to know what comprises it:
- Personnel, particularly IT individuals who specialize in cybersecurity, data analysis, and forensics
- Applications that enhance cybersecurity such as firewalls, antimalware, and an IT management system
- IT infrastructure that includes networking systems and servers
1. Cost of Labor
According to PayScale, the average salary of an IT administrator in Australia is $69,000. The cheapest may cost the business $51,000, but these are usually specialists on training and entry-level.
They may still have to work with a veteran, so they can learn the ropes. For the best ones, the company may need to spend at least $91,000.
A data analyst seems to be more expensive at $72,000. Those on the highest scale usually earn around $100,000 a year. These salaries often include benefits, such as bonuses. However, they may not include health insurance.
For new hires, they need training. The Association for Talent Development revealed that coaching these members of the team may cost a company at least $1,000 per person.
2. System Applications and IT Infrastructure
Antimalware programs may cost around $65, but it may only be a single license. It means that if the company has 500 people using a dedicated PC, they could end up spending over $30,000 for this type of application alone.
The prices of a system can shoot through the roof if they want it customized according to their needs. It’s not impossible for a single program to cost not less than $50,000.
How Can Small Business Afford Cybersecurity?
Often, small businesses can find themselves in a catch-22 situation. IT is costly, but if they don’t invest in it, they can also lose a lot of money.
Here’s some good news for these companies: they can already explore a variety of ways to make it affordable:
1. Run the Websites on WordPress
For digital marketing agencies, they can consider running their sites on WordPress. This content management system is one of the most popular since it also puts a lot of money on development and, most of all, security.
In fact, it provides automatic security updates. This way, the websites are protected, especially if the business has little knowledge about cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, for a cost of less than $100 a month, they can opt for reliable managed WordPress hosting services that take off a load of maintenance and support from the company.
2. Consider As-a-Service Platforms
What are as-a-service platforms? These are subscription-based models that provide excellent flexibility and scalability for any business.
Small businesses, for instance, can choose software as a service option for cybersecurity. The bundle can already include several applications such as antivirus, anti-phishing, or email protector. The companies may also pick the ones that are more suitable for them. Either way, they pay only what they need and when they need them.
A more recent service platform is NaaS, which stands for “network as a service”. In this solution, the connectivity between systems is not only wireless but also cloud-based. Employees can work anywhere in the world and receive the same protection and access.
3. Buy a Business Insurance that Covers Cyberattacks
What makes it even harder for cyberattacks to manage is the cost of its effects. A business can lose all of its revenues and capital in one fell swoop. To significantly minimize the damage, it can protect itself with business insurance coverage.
Business insurance policies can vary, but some now include cybersecurity coverage. For a small fee, the company owner can use the claim to fund fines and penalties; recover extortion, data recovery, and business interruption costs; and pay for good PR, among others.
Experts believe that cyberattacks will only get more common and worse in the coming years. Protection against them is no longer a matter of if but when. For small businesses that are ripe targets for these criminals, they need to defend themselves now.