According to Businessweek, the cost to keep a small business of fifty employees relatively safe from cyber crime is $57,600 per year. This figure is calculated by the following criteria according to an IT firm in Utah:
Montague says his firm would typically recommend secure e-mail hosting at $12.95 per employee per month, an antivirus service costing $3 per employee per month, and online backup at 50¢ per gigabyte. Throw in a secure Internet phone system for $20 per user per month, labor costs for an outsourced IT department at $52.50 per worker per month, and Montague’s monthly estimate for a 50-employee company comes to about $4,800, or $57,600 annually.
Businesses that need less hand-holding from IT staff can cut down those costs, which will help them afford some other services they may need. That may include a new firewall; a good one can run to $1,200 and last five years, Montague says.
They may also need the cyber insurance policies that an increasing number of insurers offer. Those products vary, based on the specifics of businesses that are shopping for insurance and the types of coverage they’re seeking. Deborah Kostroun, a spokeswoman for specialty insurance company Beazley, says that a retailer with $10 million in annual revenue might pay $2,000 a year for a cyber policy that covers up to $1 million in breach response and third-party liability.
While this $57,000 price tag may seem small in comparison to the bill that larger corporations may face, for a small business, this type of security, which may fail anyway, could be crippling for profits.