There have been numerous stories in the media recently about ransomware and cyber-crime attacks, and natural disasters both here in New Zealand and overseas. As business owners in the digital age it’s vitally important that we think about protecting our enterprises from cyber-crime and disaster.
Think for a moment; if your business was to suddenly go offline, would you still be able to process payments? Would you be able to contact your customers and have your customers contact you? Would you be able to access important files and data?
And, most importantly, would you be able to get yourself back up and running with minimal impact? You’d be surprised how many SMEs would have to say ‘no’.
Businesses are reliant on the internet
From emails and accounting, to team collaboration and video chat, it’s a fact that most businesses need to be online simply to get things done. But it doesn’t just stop with common business practices, the internet is also a key player when it comes to reaching customers and providing them with the customer service they expect.
Yet, for all its importance, an outage can strike at any time—construction accidents, natural disasters, old-fashioned equipment failure and, increasingly, cyber-attacks, can all conspire to bring your business to its knees.
Even huge corporations can fall prey. This was certainly the case with British Airways in 2017, when a power failure downed their systems and stranded thousands of passengers, costing them an estimated $150 million.
And therein lies the crux of the matter: internet downtime costs your business money. Every time. Not only do you lose revenue if your payment systems go down, but think about the costs involved in tech support, staff overtime (or wasted time), and, if your industry is heavily regulated, the penalties for not being able to deliver to your customers.
All this doesn’t even begin to factor-in the negative impact that outages can have on your brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.
Don’t overlook the increasing threat of cyber-attacks
The ugly head of cyber-crime is popping up more and more to compromise your systems and interrupt your internet connection. And don’t think New Zealand is immune. In its most recent update, Cert NZ (New Zealand’s cybersecurity agency) recorded more than 3000 cybersecurity incidents in the first six months of 2020, with an estimated financial loss of $8 million—a 42 percent increase in the same period for 2019.
While large-scale attacks are often targeted towards bigger organisations, SMEs can still fall prey. Cert NZ reported that nearly half of those cyber-breeches recorded were phishing-related, whilst scams and fraud accounted for another third—all dirty tricks designed to target your business regardless of its size.
And what about Natural disasters?
While we’re on the subject of business catastrophes, let’s not forget the events that are completely beyond your control. Earthquakes, floods, fires, pandemics, all have the potential to rip through your infrastructure and leave you limping around offline and in the dark.
Without solid backup plans, many businesses find themselves simply unable to recover.
Make sure you have a plan B
Okay, we know you probably have a ‘to-do’ list a mile-long, and planning for events-that-may-not-even-happen is easy to relegate to the bottom. But don’t get caught out. Statistics show that only 64% of New Zealand SMEs have a robust contingency plan in place (Digital Journey), which leaves an alarming number without a backup if the worst were to happen.
Prevention can be better than the cure
When it comes to cybersecurity, being ill-prepared turns you into an easy target and actually increases your risk of attack. Think about it, who would you try to rob: someone with state-of-the-art security in place, or someone who’s left their backdoor wide open?
Take the time to assess your systems; find out how your defenses stack up and what you can do to sharpen them with Digital Journey’s free cybersecurity assessment
In the end, no matter what contingencies you have in place, choosing a reliable internet connection that exceeds your needs, from a provider that won’t let you down, can be one of the most crucial steps to ensuring smooth-sailing for your business.
Ask your broadband provider for a fibre connection with business-grade features including business restore. This way your connectivity issues are prioritised in our restoration queue to get you back up and running faster with minimum impact. 24/7 support, 7 days a week.
Plan for the worst, hope for the best
Take a proactive stance. Invest now to safeguard your connectivity and ensure you can continue to function if your internet goes down, whatever the reason. You’ll be saving your future-self time, money, and many, many headaches.