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Patty Luxton

By: Patty Luxton on June 26th, 2019

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Network Security Services: 6 Excuses Why Business Owners Don’t Think They Need Them

Cybersecurity | Networking

Here at Kelser, we’ve been in the IT consulting business for nearly four decades. By now, we’ve heard every excuse in the book from companies who don’t want to take a proactive approach to network security services.

Of course, we’ve also witnessed for ourselves the benefits for our clients who have successfully implemented these services—which is why we know that so many of these excuses don’t hold water.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the biggest reasons why organizations convince themselves they don’t need network security services, and why these reasons aren’t tenable in the modern cybersecurity threat landscape.

6 Excuses for Having Poor Network Security Services

Many organizations justify their lack of investment in network security simply because “it’s not for me.” Yet no matter the size or industry of your organization, IT security has a valuable role to play. Below, we’ll deconstruct some of the most common arguments we’ve seen.

1. “My business isn’t a target.”

The underlying belief here is that if a cybersecurity disaster hasn’t already befallen your company in the past, it’s not likely to happen in the future either.

Psychologists have a name for this kind of argument: normalcy bias. It’s all too easy to assume that you’re doing fine right now, because everything will continue to function into the future the way that it’s always happened before.

Yet time and time again, companies with this same line of thinking have fallen victim to a devastating cyber attack. In fact, sometimes hackers prefer to go after the low-hanging fruit with fewer protections in place, rather than the big corporations with tougher security.

No matter how small or insignificant you may think your business is, it’s meaningful to you and the employees who work there. Even if you’re a small non-profit organization without credit card data or trade secrets on file, the information you do have is valuable to you. That makes you a target for attacks such as ransomware that hold your data hostage until you pay a pricey ransom.

Botnets are another serious IT security issue for businesses with poor network security. Hackers can secretly take over the machines on your network, creating an army of “zombies,” and use them to launch malicious attacks. This may affect your computers’ performance and cause your network to be blacklisted.

2. “It costs too much.”

There are upfront and long-term costs associated with cybersecurity no matter what, whether you invest in network services or not. Failing to protect your networks drastically elevates your risk that you’ll suffer financial damage when you fall victim to a cyberattack.

Network security services are like car insurance: you pay a small fee every month in order to protect yourself from larger losses and potential financial ruin. Again, this is the normalcy bias in play: just because you haven’t been in a car accident yet doesn’t make insurance a waste of money.

We’ve seen many previously reluctant businesses find that network security services are worth the investment after doing a thorough cost-benefit analysis.

3. “I don’t know enough about it.”

This is a sadly all-too-common excuse for not using network security services: the lack of knowledge about what it takes to protect your IT environment.

Fortunately, you don’t need to know much about it—just like you don’t need to know the specifics about how all of your employees do their jobs. Even if you can’t tell the difference between a firewall and a SIEM, you can still take action by partnering with the people and businesses who have the expert knowledge you need.

4. “It’s not a priority right now.”

If you have more important things to do than securing and protecting the integrity of your business, your priorities might not be in the right order.

Instances of data breaches and data loss can be the death of an otherwise healthy organization. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of small businesses never reopen following a cyber attack.

Even without going to extremes, IT disasters can wreak havoc on your company’s efficiency and finances in the form of lost productivity, infected computers, spam emails, etc.

5. “I can handle it myself.”

Unless you have an enterprise-class IT team at your fingertips, even simple actions can expose you to a great deal of risk.

For example, if you set up your organization’s mail server incorrectly, you can create an “open relay” that allows other people to send out mail from your address to their heart’s content, including spammers and other malicious actors.

Again, it’s easy to assume that everything is okay as long as things appear to be working correctly—until one day they aren’t anymore.

6. “I’m fine—an IT friend helped me set it up.”

Some small businesses try to save on costs by having a tech-savvy friend or family member set things up, but this person likely doesn’t have the domain-specific knowledge that you need to truly protect yourself.

What’s more, IT security isn’t a “set it and forget it” one-time process; it needs to be constantly kept up-to-date. Many data breaches have occurred because hackers found a security vulnerability that had already been patched in a newer update, but that the company hadn’t yet installed.

Partnering with a network security services provider who knows their subject matter inside and out is instrumental in order to face IT security threats head-on.

Excuses Don’t Protect Your IT Environment

Convinced that network security may be more important than you thought?

Figure out what it would look like to implement network security services in your business by checking out our ebook: “10 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Company’s Cybersecurity Posture.”

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About Patty Luxton

Patty is Kelser's Vice President of Engineering Services and an industry veteran with 25 years of experience in the field.