How can small business owners effectively deal with the ever increasing treat of viruses, trojans, ransomware and all kinds of computer malware?
Downtime, lost productivity, data destruction and just the time to deal with the problem are significant business costs. I work hard to prevent these problems from occurring in my customers’ networks and I’m good at it.
If you started a business, you obviously thought that you could succeed. Achieving that goal is priceless. This post is not about just malware. It’s about how to make the important decisions you and I consider along the road to success.
What is your time worth?
Has your computer ever run slower than normal? The most common cause of computer slowdowns is a virus or other malware. Has your network been down due to a malware attack? What about your laptop?
Your time is valuable. In a recent survey of young businesses 74% of entrepreneurs said that an hour of their time was worth $100 or more. 12% said $500 or more!
And entrepreneurs are pressed for time. As the CEO of a rapidly expanding business, I know. So, where does a busy entrepreneur come up with more time to manage a growing business?
Technology can help. In the same survey, entrepreneurs said that technology makes them more productive. Unfortunately, the vulnerabilities of technology can also make them less productive.
It happens to everyone. Just when an important deadline approaches your computer gets a virus and slows to a crawl. And now you have to start worrying about your mobile devices getting infected. Who has the time?
Increasing malware threats
Malware of all types is increasing at an alarming rate, evolving to become more sophisticated and more invasive. Thousands of new trojans and viruses, adware and ransomware, and a flood of other types of malware are released into cyberspace every day.
The AV-Test Institute registered over 200,000 new malicious programs per day, in 2013. Wow!
Malware causes PC and network slowdowns, theft of sensitive data, infections used to attack other websites, data destruction, and degraded customer service.
You might even find your website on a search engine “blacklist” because you have a virus. If an infected website is blacklisted, “you’re basically off the Internet until the website is fixed,” said Peter Jensen, CEO of StopTheHacker.com. About 10,000 sites are flagged and quarantined every day.
None of this is new. It’s just getting worse.
The business costs of malware
The cost to business is huge, estimated to be $491 billion in 2014.
Downtime and slowdowns reduce productivity. Dealing with the problem takes staff time and your time.
The average business spends about $3,000 per day recovering from a malware infection, which takes up to 30 days to fix.
The annual cost of cybercrime for small organizations is $1,324… per seat.
But, the largest cost of malware is the opportunity cost. As the founder or CEO, you don’t want to have to deal with this stuff. You don’t want your employees to have to deal with it.
At best it’s a costly diversion that distracts from business productivity. At worst, it means lost sales, slower growth, missed opportunities and incredible stress. It could even mean the failure of your business if the response to an infection is slow.
How to deal with viruses and malware
Small businesses need an effective strategy to deal with malware, today. The options are simple:
- Partner with an IT security expert for a flat monthly fee. They will keep the technology up to date, even provide zero-day updates, and monitor your security 24/7. It takes sophisticated technology to deal with today’s sophisticated threats. They’ve got it.
- Do it yourself. Have one of your employees install the IT security solutions, update them regularly, monitor them and call an expert when you get hit. You may feel in control, but the costs are unpredictable and potentially devastating.
We’re all used to outsourcing parts of our lives. We do it every day. Trading services or products for money is the basis of our economy and the foundation of wealth creation. It’s how you succeed as an entrepreneur.
I can’t do everything. Neither can you. You do what you do best, and trade for what others do best, in this case, effective data security.
Security DIY slows you down and may cost you a great business opportunity. So, partner with an IT security expert you trust and let them do a terrific job with the latest network protection technology. Viruses and malware are not worth your time.
What else are you currently doing that’s not worth your time?
Carl Mazzanti is CEO of eMazzanti Technologies, 2012, 2013 & 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year and a NYC area IT security expert.