Here at Trava, we make it our mission to promote awareness for online safety and privacy and help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to understand why implementing a comprehensive cyber risk management program is imperative.

One way we did so was to host a live, interactive cybersecurity awareness event at our offices in Indianapolis back in October. There we answered the question every SMB leader should be asking, "How should I be thinking about cybersecurity?” with a culmination of learnings from the year.

This blog series highlights a few of our favorite hot takes.

‍1. A random collection of cybersecurity tools does not make for a cyber risk management program. 

That’s how Trava co-founder and CEO Jim Goldman began many of his keynote addresses at live and virtual events throughout the year. Sometimes he reiterated it twice to emphasize its importance!

The point he makes is that the cybersecurity space is very crowded. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of reacting to every promise of protection against cyber attacks.

Don’t do it! This brings us to Hot Take #2.

2. Start by first understanding where you are at risk

SMBs need to fully understand the particular problems they face before seeking a solution—or back to Hot Take #1, a random collection of cybersecurity tools. And then invest in a solution that can help you mitigate those risk areas that are most severe.

3. It’s expensive to go out of business. 

This is Jim Goldman’s answer when a business leader expresses the concern that cybersecurity is too expensive. One of the things that Jim learned when he served as Task Force Officer on the National Security and Criminal Cyber Squads for the FBI (yes, that FBI) was that if an enterprise company fell victim to a cyber attack, they had the tools and resources in place to recover.

On the other hand, when a small business would fall victim to a cyber attack, they likely would not recover. SMBs face different types of internal risks (weaknesses) and external risks (threats).

When it comes to the alarming statistics—88% of small businesses think they are at risk for a cyber attack—Jim Goldman advises, “It’s less about what organizations are doing wrong, and more about not doing enough.” There are affordable options for assessment tools that can help SMBs understand where they are most vulnerable (notice a trend here?). And to help mitigate risk, consider a vCISO—virtual Chief Information Security Officers that can help with a variety of services on a fractional basis. Learn more about vCISOs in this comprehensive guide.

In Part 2 of our Cybersecurity Hot Takes series, we’ll offer up a few more key insights and lessons learned in 2021.