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smb_cyber_securityDoes it feel like your small business customers try to change the subject whenever you bring up cyber security? Well, you’re probably not imagining things. Data breaches, malware, and other cyber threats are scary subjects, and they can have serious consequences for SMBs. So most business owners would much rather talk to their IT service providers about something positive, like a cool new cloud application that could make their operations more efficient or a cutting edge piece of equipment they want to try.

This can be frustrating for managed service providers. You’ll be the one they call when something goes wrong, so you want to make sure your SMB customers are properly protected from cyber threats. Understanding why customers are avoiding the subject can help you navigate this challenge and get conversations started the right way.

Here are three of the most common reasons your small business customers don’t want to talk about cyber security:

1. They don’t want to think about it

Cyber security can be an intimidating topic, so some SMB customers simply take the head-in-the-sand approach. It’s much easier to think that ignoring the problem will make it go away or that only bigger companies need to be concerned. It will never happen to me, right?

Educating these customers on a few statistics about cyber security and how it affects small business can help open their eyes and change their attitude. For example, explain that 44 percent of small businesses report being the victim of a cyber attack, so experiencing a data breach at their company is a very real possibility. That should get their attention. Follow up by reassuring them that you can help protect their business and telling them how you’d do that.

2. They don’t understand it

Most small business owners aren’t very tech-savvy, and that can make cyber security confusing. For someone who doesn’t know what malware is or doesn’t understand the difference between a firewall and antivirus software, talking about cyber security can be overwhelming, and they’ll end up shutting you out.

That makes it important to go back to the basics for this type of customer. Make sure you’re explaining cyber security issues and best practices in plain language that are easy to understand even for someone that doesn’t have a technical background. You should also focus on teaching customers about the common sense things they can do to be smart about cyber security, even if they don’t understand all the ins and outs of how malware works.

3. They’re afraid of the expense

Budgets can be tight for most small businesses, and cyber security measures sound like an added expense that they didn’t budget for and aren’t prepared to pay. Being smart about cyber security doesn’t have to be expensive, though.

Show your customers that learning about cyber security and teaching employees how to avoid common cybersecurity mistakes can be more than half the battle—and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. That will help open the door to discuss what security services you have to offer for a reasonable monthly fee, a fee that’s much easier to afford than the costly expense of trying to recover from a data breach they weren’t prepared for.

An e-book to start the conversation

To help you kick start these types of conversations with your small business customers, we put together The SMB’s Guide to Cyber Security, an educational e-book you can share with customers or prospects to teach them about cyber security. It will help SMBs:

  • Avoid the most common cybersecurity mistakes
  • Learn about malware and what it is
  • Be smart about ransomware
  • Develop a solid cybersecurity policy (with your help)

Intronis MSP Solution Partners can download a rebrandable version of the e-book from the Partner Toolkit.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Used under CC 2.0 License

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Anne Campbell

Posted by Anne Campbell

Anne Campbell is the public relations manager for Barracuda. She's been with the organization since 2014, working on content and public relations for Barracuda MSP, the MSP-dedicated business unit of Barracuda. She started her career in newspaper and magazine journalism, and she brings that editorial point of view the work she does, using it to help craft compelling stories.

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