Would You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?

“Thanks, but I’m good.” I think it is so American to always answer with confidence when anyone asks about someone’s situation. We have that Yankee/Can Do/Birth of a Nation attitude, and we usually expect to have to be effectively competent in, well, everything. When asked “How is _______?”, our reflexive response is usually some sentence that includes the word “good.” Okay. Would you put your money where your mouth is?

Would You Bet Big Money On How Good Your Cybersecurity Is?

When someone tells us at Aptica that they are confident their cybersecurity is good, I always wonder how much money that person would bet on it. Would he/she bet one million dollars? A half-million dollars? I am not trying to be melodramatic. That is how much it has been costing in the last couple of years to clean up after a breach. Yep. One-half to one million dollars. Six figures. Most businesses now have insurance for this and the business’ record for cyber losses does factor into the cost.

Cyber Liability And Cyber Liability Insurance. Frightening Words

Cyber liability is another way of saying mistake.  If a business owner is lax in keeping the company technology secure—that is a form of misuse. Time and again an owner or manager has been dumbfounded to learn that their company was hacked, or robbed, or taken hostage. “Why would anyone come after me?” asks the owner of a local bakery, or a local nursery, or a restaurant. It is quick and easy money for the bad actors, and often they will hit a jackpot with a sizeable ransom paid. It can also take costly time to react and respond to a ransom hack. Your data is seized until you pay up or can restore data and restart. Again, these occurrences are why cyber liability is now a line item in a business budget. Hackers gonna hack. You have a network, so you are a target regardless of gross profits or protected charity status.

The Sky Is Not Suddenly Falling—It Is Just Another Business Day In Today’s World

I take pride in being self-sufficient for as many aspects of daily living as possible, and I think this is another admirable American trait. But I try to be realistic when I do not have the skills, tools, or expertise to fix or alter some things. Then there is the liability issue. If I watch a video on YouTube that shows how to DIY some tricky plumbing, when the house floods, how costly will it be to clean it up? How much homeowners insurance can I collect after the claims adjustor rules it was critical to have called a licensed plumber to do the work? When does the decision to just hope nothing awful happens become penny-wise/pound foolish? How much money can a business owner bet with confidence on the efficacy of the company’s cyber defenses?

What Is The Cost Of Protection And What Is The Cost Of Not Knowing Enough About Protection?

None of us can ever stop learning if we want to stay competitive in our business. Researching online, speaking with similar companies, and ultimately meeting with an expert on the topic you want to know about should be no different than vetting a potential new employee. Computers are not mumbo-jumbo. Networks are phenomenal feats of engineering that save you time and offer instant access to information and resources critical to your success. I am still in awe of how many new functions and uses are still being discovered and then quickly incorporated daily. It is okay to have only a working understanding of a computer network, I believe, if an owner has a strong understanding of how much his efficient and protected network contributes to his success.

Talk to someone who has cleaned up after a paralyzing cyberattack; see some numbers on paper about what the costs can be. Prevention is still the preferred reason to spend money on your computers. Aptica can walk you through costs for cyber defense and define for you all the possibilities for cyber liability. This is just another important thing to know if you want to stay in business.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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