IT and Cybersecurity for Small Business

Challenges and Opportunities

Since their democratization in the eighties, personal computers became essential tools that we use extensively to conduct business and improve the quality and speed of processes and operations. This trend kept growing exponentially with the accelerating pace of innovation and one can hardly try to imagine all the possibilities in the future.

The wide use of connected computers allowed to revolutionize our work methods by promoting real-time sharing of data and collaboration. Communications with customers were greatly improved with the advent of the Internet and the multiplication of communications channels where customers can reach the business and get their transactions completed extremely fast.

The Internet enabled businesses of all sizes to reach new and larger markets independently of location. Leveraging Internet-based technologies such as Cloud Computing and the as-a-service model will continue to help businesses increase their capabilities many-folds in terms of processing capacity, process efficiency and reaction speed which are beneficial to their development and the growth of their offering and revenues.

On the flip side, the unlimited potential of computing and the Internet as business enablers creates a specific set of new challenges that if left unmanaged, may cause the opposite effect, and become a hinderance on businesses growth and viability. This article will try to summarize these challenges and describe the best approaches to mitigate their negative impacts while maximizing the benefits.

The wide use of connected computers allowed to revolutionize our work methods by promoting real-time sharing of data and collaboration.

Information Technology complexity and cost to businesses

Business heavy reliance on many information technologies to conduct business makes having expert resources available to provide user support and fix issues a key requirement. The multiplication of technologies such computers, mobile devices, software applications, databases, networks, servers, internet services, email, unified communication, collaboration tools …etc. increases the complexity for users who are not necessarily technical savvy and creates a continuous need to have adequate level of user support to ensure continuous operation. It also creates the need for continuous maintenance (i.e. applying patches) to avoid outages and minimize down-time which have a direct impact on the business bottom-line.

This creates a high demand on expert IT resources which in turn causes continuous inflation of compensation and salaries and creates a heated competition for talents between organizations small and big.

A current survey performed by found that average base salary of an IT specialist in Canada is around $ 62 000 (Canadian dollars), which, if we add fixed costs and payroll taxes, puts hiring an in-house IT person beyond the reach of a lot of small businesses.

The multiplication of technologies used in everyday operations increases the complexity for users and creates a continuous need to have adequate level of user support to ensure continuous operation.

Cybersecurity threats and risk to business

Additionally, the use of increasing numbers of interconnected technologies that may contain security flaws creates a tremendous opportunity to fraudsters and cyber-criminals to commit malicious acts for fun and profit. This represents and existential risk for businesses especially small and medium and it is key to mitigate it as a business risk.

Industry-lead research shows that the pace of cyber-attacks as a form of criminality is growing fast and businesses are increasingly targeted by cyber attacks aiming to steal confidential data and sell it to organized crime to help conduct fraud or to encrypt key business data and require ransom payment in order to be able to use it again (i.e. Ransomware attacks.). This form of cyber-attack is easy to conduct and represents a very lucrative source of income for hackers and organized crime.

A research performed by Coveware found that the average ransom payment paid in Q1 2020 amounts to approximately $111 000 (US dollars).

Furthermore, a study performed by the global insurance company Hiscox found that the average loss following a cyber attack on small businesses amounts to $200 000 (US dollars).

Additionally, research conducted by the US National Cyber Security Alliance and reported by have found that 60 percent of small businesses fail within six months of a cyber attack.

Cyberthreats are increasingly considered as a key risk to businesses viability given the ease to conduct it and the significant adverse impact that can lead to crippling costs and even to business closing.

Ransomware attacks are increasingly easy to conduct and represent a very lucrative source of income for hackers and organized crime.

What to do?

Given the importance of information technology and the Internet to the competitivity and growth of businesses and the associated complexity and risk, establishing a clear strategy defining how to maximize the value of information technologies while ensuring that cybersecurity risks are properly mitigated should figure as a high priority objective for business owners and managers.

We strongly believe that businesses, large or small, must adopt the key guidelines below to succeed in this undertaking:

  • Recognize IT and Internet as key business enablers and establish a reasonable ongoing budget to ensure adequate service and support levels as part of the cost of doing business.
  • Recognize cybersecurity risks and seek proactive preparedness and resilience in order to avoid higher and unpredictable cost of recovery.
  • Consider Managed Services as an effective solution to address your IT and cybersecurity needs while maximizing value and reducing costs.
  • Explore how Cloud Services can help you grow your business and increase efficiency while controlling cost and mitigating cybersecurity risks.

Businesses need to recognize cybersecurity as a key risk and seek proactive mitigations in order to avoid high recovery cost and even the risk of failing following a cyber-attack.

We can help!

Syntrology was founded with the mission to help businesses accelerate their Digital Transformation and maximise the value of Information Technologies to further their growth while mitigating the operational and cybersecurity risks.

As your preferred partner, Syntrology will provide you a unique portfolio of advisory and managed services designed from the ground-up to help you overcome IT and cybersecurity challenges and tame their complexity to achieve the best value for your business.

Our philosophy is articulated around the following values:

  • Adapted services and great value
  • Outstanding customer support
  • No-nonsense plain language advice
  • Industry latest technologies and best practices
  • Proactivity and focus on prevention
  • Sharing your success

We invite you to put us to the test and let us demonstrate how we can serve you at a cost that fits your budget. Please book a free consultation using the button below.