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Critical Cybersecurity Concerns for Small Business Owners

To overcome your leadership's top cybersecurity concerns for small businesses, you must first know what they are. Get the scoop and so much more...

It’s a tale as old as time: two people sitting down to discuss highly technical projects can’t seem to agree. Or the same book. Instead, the IT leader and owner dig their heels in, thinking they do what’s best for the business. And if you don’t understand your owner’s cybersecurity concerns for their small business, you won’t get on the same page.

To do so, you have to understand and speak to their fears.

1. I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know.

An owner’s biggest cybersecurity concern for their small business is they don’t know what they don’t know. Owners often don’t know the questions to ask when hiring a cybersecurity specialist, outsourcing to an MSP, or investigating their vulnerabilities. They may know cybersecurity is an issue they must protect against but don’t know the first step to take.

More than that, they often don’t know how to vet the information from third parties or internal specialists. Different vendors preach different solutions to security because of their solution stack. On top of that, you have a highly technical topic with technical solutions presented in a way owners can understand.

All this feeds into a fear that an owner will pick the wrong solution or miss some crucial piece and then watch their whole business go down when they thought they were protected all along.

How to Overcome This Fear:

1. Make sure you’re speaking their language. There’s nothing worse for an owner than hearing someone spout off a bunch of terms they don’t understand, mention horrific statistics about businesses getting hit with cyberattacks, and then ask for money for a tool they don’t understand the purpose of. If your owner isn’t comfortable with what the tool is and how it works, they won’t be comfortable handing over the money for it.

2. Give them context. They have a lot of people giving them a lot of solutions for their cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Help them understand the specifics of their own business and environment. Use examples they can relate to when explaining how a solution or tool would help protect a part of their environment.

2. Am I Getting My Money’s Worth?

Owners may have heard horror stories from colleagues or peers where they purchased a tool – maybe even the tool you’re asking for – and their team didn’t, or couldn’t, use it effectively. They may have even experienced that themselves. But it’s their job to ensure the financial stability of the business. So they will always fear investing in tools they don’t understand the purpose for or can’t gauge ROI for. Understanding the value is the second most crucial cybersecurity concern for small business owners.

How to Overcome This Fear:

1. Be honest: If you can, great! If you can’t, be upfront about it. Owners are willing to pay a little extra for professional services if they know the product will be configured and work correctly in the long run.

2. Explain how you’ll use the software: What key features do you intend to use? How much of the product will you use? What problem does it solve for you, your department, and the business? When you explain how and why you need a specific tool, you give your leaders something to use to gauge the success or failure of the tool. If you only plan to use a portion of the full suite of features, explain why and show that the return is still worth the investment.

3. Don’t overpromise what the tool can provide. It’s easy to lose leadership trust when they think your business is safer than it is. Be clear about what each tool can and cannot do. When you make the expectations clear from the beginning, you build trust with your leadership team. So, every request that comes next is easier for your leaders to support.

When you understand the fears your leadership team is grappling with and can help alleviate them, you’re more likely to have your projects funded and supported.

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