With massive data breaches making headlines on a regular basis, like the one that recently affected up to 80 million customers of the health insurance giant Anthem, it’s hard to ignore the fact that data security is becoming increasingly important. Unfortunately, there are still far too many SMBs that don’t understand just how serious the threat is.
Earlier this month, we spoke to a number of small business owners to conduct a little primary research, and virtually all of them were seriously under-aware of the threat of ransomware. Their response pretty much boiled down to, “Well, let’s hope that doesn’t happen to me!”
This should be a red flag for MSPs, telling you that it’s time to change the way you talk to your SMB customers about data security.
Growing threat to SMBs
Recent research simply reinforces this point. According to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2015, the changing face of security will be one of the top 12 trends to watch this year as new security measures and tools emerge to deal with the rising number of increasingly sophisticated threats.
But this isn’t just a trend that will affect big, national companies like Anthem. It’s just as serious—if not more serious—for small businesses to be prepared. Roughly, 81% of all data breaches happen to small businesses, and 60% of SMBs that are breached go out of business within six months. Those two statistics alone should be enough to get your customers’ attention.
Educate your customers
Half the battle is starting the conversation with your customers. During a webinar Intronis did with My Digital Shield in January, we asked the MSPs about how often they talk to customers about cyber security, and nearly a third said they only discuss it when a breach or failure occurs. That’s way too late.
Don’t put the conversation off. Start talking to your customers now about why cyber security is important and help them put a plan in place to make sure their data is protected in case of a breach. Security is all about protecting data and preventing data loss. That used to mean protecting your customers’ data from fire, floods, and user or error. Now cyber security is an even bigger threat than those more traditional dangers. So educate your customers about why it’s important and why they need to care.
For more advice on how to start the cyber security conversation with your SMB customers, check out the replay of the “Five Tips for Approaching Customers About Cloud Security” webinar.