Cybersecurity Costs for Small Businesses

Most small businesses often don’t consider themselves prominent targets of hackers and cyber threats because of their small size. But while government organizations and large businesses are highly lucrative targets, they’re also exceptionally difficult ones. In reality, most cybercriminals are opportunists, and though they’re interested in valuable targets, they also optimize their practices to attack low-hanging fruit.

Small businesses represent the best of both worlds. They have access to valuable information cybercriminals seek, such as employee and customer records, bank account information and access to the business’s finances, and access to larger networks. What’s more, most small businesses tend to have fewer resources dedicated to cybersecurity, less sophisticated security infrastructure and practices, and an inadequate number of trained personnel to manage and respond to threats, making them highly lucrative targets for bad actors.

The good news is that with robust cybersecurity strategies and defenses in place, you can prevent cyberattacks and build cyber-resilience in your organization. But how much do you need to set aside to protect your business from cyber-attacks? Read on to discover why you need to budget for cybersecurity services and how much you can expect to pay for cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Costs for Small Businesses

Why Invest in Cybersecurity Services?

According to a study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, a data breach costs small businesses an average of $2.98 million per incident. While that number will vary depending on the size of your company, it’s still a hefty cost that could spell trouble for small businesses. In fact, 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyberattack.

That’s because cyberattacks are expensive in more ways than you might expect. You’re not just paying for immediate damage and repair like other damaging disasters. You’re also contending with operational downtime and lost productivity, reputational damage, penalties, loss of business, legal costs, ransom payments, and many other factors that drive up costs while you struggle to repair your business and get it back on its feet. With both your business’s financial security and future on the line, small businesses must invest in cybersecurity services.

How Much Does Cybersecurity Cost?

When it comes to cybersecurity costs, there is no one-size-fits-all. That’s because there are so many different variables and factors involved when it comes to determining cybersecurity costs, including your industry, company size, compliance and regulatory requirements affecting your business, current IT tools, the complexity of your IT infrastructure, and the sensitivity of the data you collect, use and share.

On average, companies spend around 10% of their annual IT budget on cybersecurity and about $2,700 on average per full-time employee. So, if your business has an IT budget of $3 million, you’ll likely spend $300,000 on cybersecurity costs. Ultimately, your cybersecurity costs will depend on the type of cybersecurity services and solutions you need.

Here are some of the most common cybersecurity services and how much they cost:

  • Endpoint detection and response (EDR): Every endpoint—from laptops to mobile phones and tablets—in your organization represents a potential entry point for a hacker to infiltrate your systems. That’s why endpoint management is a crucial part of cybersecurity. By monitoring your endpoints, EDR solutions can detect abnormal behavior, stop it and investigate whether something malicious (or accidental but dangerous) is happening. Endpoint detection and response services typically cost $5 – $8 per user per month and $9 – $18 per server per month. 
  • Vulnerability assessment: A comprehensive vulnerability assessment helps to identify, quantify and address the security vulnerabilities that exist within your company’s infrastructure, including on-premise and cloud networks. Remediation measures can then be applied accordingly. Identifying risks before hackers do will drastically improve the cyber security posture of your business. You can expect to pay $1,500 – $6,000 for a vulnerability assessment of a network with 1-3 servers and $5,000 – $10,000 for a network with 5-8 servers.
  • Firewall: Firewalls act as the first line of defense between your network and the outside world. Without it, malicious traffic would be allowed directly into your network. Firewalls come in various sizes, so you will want to choose one that best fits your network’s size and configuration. On average, you can expect to pay $400 on the low end and up to $6,000 on the high-end.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: 2FA adds an extra layer of defense between your data and criminals. The strongest password is no match for a password that has been phished or stolen by a keylogger, but with two-factor authentication, an attacker cannot log in without also having access to the additional authentication methods specified within the user’s profile, such as push notification to their mobile device, text or phone call. The cost for two-factor authentication usually ranges between $5 – $10 per user per month.
  • Web application assessment: As cyber-attacks increasingly focus on application-layer disruptions, the importance of application security has never been more vital. You can use web application assessment to test your web application to identify security vulnerabilities, understand how users and attackers could abuse or misuse your web application and verify whether required security controls are implemented. The cost of a web application assessment will depend on the time it takes an engineer to perform an assessment, but on average, you can expect to pay around $4,000. If your web application has multiple roles to test and a significant number of unique pages/forms, that takes longer for an engineer to adequately test and might cost closer to $8,000.
  • Email security: Did you know that more than 90% of targeted cyberattacks are initiated by email? Attackers often use deceptive messages to persuade victims to provide sensitive information, open attachments, or click links that allow them to install malware on their devices. Email security can prevent businesses from falling victim to ransomware, spyware, trojans, social engineering, and other malware threats. Email security costs will fluctuate depending on the number of employees and endpoints (computers) that need security. Generally, businesses should expect to pay between $3 – $6 per user per month for an email protection service with the necessary advanced features to protect you. For example, if your company has 250 employees, you should pay an average of $1,125 per month for email protection services.

    Protect Your Business with Cybersecurity Services from Atlantic IT

    At Atlantic IT, we provide comprehensive cybersecurity services designed to protect your data and enhance your business IT security posture. Whether you need a vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, data encryption, firewall systems, endpoint protection, patch management, or malware and spam blocking, Atlantic IT has got you covered. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our cybersecurity experts and let us help you secure your business against cyberattacks.

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