Your small business is under a cyberattack, don’t also fall victim to the brand reputation breach. You may be wondering what that even is, well Security Bytes is here to answer that question. When handling a cyber incident, such as a data breach, how you publicly handle it can have a lasting impact on your brand’s reputation. So not only has your data been breached, your brand reputation is breached. reports that 66% of consumers will not trust a business that suffers a data breach if their data was involved. They also report that 75% of consumers would consider cutting ties with any business who even suffers from a cybersecurity incident! With these kinds of percentages of consumers ready to leave, what can a small business do?

Small business options

The number one thing you can do as a small business is to do something proactive with cybersecurity in 2024. Cybersecurity is here to stay and it is an important part of your success. If it isn’t, it needs to become one in 2024.

Now let’s be more specific about what you can do, especially when it comes to cyberattacks and data breaches.

Plan, prepare, practice

When a cyberattack happens be prepared for it by having a plan in place that you have practiced with your team. A cybersecurity incident is stressful enough and having to come up with a plan on the fly only adds more stress to it. More importantly though, it adds mistakes and oversights that can hinder the investigation, remediation, and response. To learn more about the basics of an Incident Response Plan, checkout this handout from CISA.

Good communication

I do want to call out several of the important points CISA makes in their handout about communication. Good communication with the consumer and general public is critical in protecting your business. The three points below highlight having some statements ready to go for multiple scenarios, having one person leading your conversation as to minimize miscommunication, and that not all communication is external, you need to talk with your employees as well.

  • “Prepare press responses in advance. If a reporter calls you, claiming to have data stolen from your file servers, what will you say? Having a good “holding statement” will help.”
  • “Assign Communications Manager (CM). The CM will interact with reporters, post updates on social media, and may interact with external stakeholders (like shareholders).”
  • “Communicate the findings to your staff. Transparency builds trust and many staff will appreciate hearing how seriously the executives consider security. That’s how you build a culture of security.”

To learn more about cybersecurity threats, trends, and topics with a focus on small business, check out Small Business, Big Threat!