The ​optimism bias is essentially a mistaken belief that our chances of experiencing negative events are lower and our chances of experiencing positive events are higher than those of our peers, even when the physical evidence clearly suggests otherwise.


Free Site Audit

Check Your Website’s Security and Performance NOW!


So, in terms of your perception of cybersecurity, optimism bias can lead you to believe that your website is more secure or less likely to be attacked than it actually is.

It sounds crazy, yet nearly 70% of businesses believe they have above-average cyber defences in place while, in reality, less than 40% of businesses are using anything more than a cursory measurement of their cybersecurity readiness, and a further 20% of businesses, particularly in retail, financial services, and e-commerce, lack a strong self-assessment process of any sort.

The Optimism Bias in Small Business

Our optimism is fuelled from multiple sources. But, one that impacts us the most is what we see and hear in the news. Typically, the breaches we hear about impact large companies, which reinforces our belief that, if it’s not happening to other small businesses, it won’t happen to me.

And the result of this optimism? Only about 16% of small business owners say they’re concerned about potential cyberattacks, despite the fact that 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses!

Even more disturbing is that small businesses are typically much less likely to recover from an attack. Small business data breach statistics suggest that 60% of them will go out of business within 6 months of a successful attack.

Optimism Is Not A Valid Security Option

To correctly determine your business’s true cybersecurity risks you need to measure your level of security. You should analyse as many variables as possible, including the size and complexity of your site, the software it’s built with, and the volume and source of traffic it receives.

Gaining a clear and accurate understanding of your cybersecurity risk will help you balance your natural optimism bias against the steps you need to take to enhance your cybersecurity.

You can take those steps yourself, or you can partner with webmax365 and we’ll take care of the heavy lifting.

Be optimistic, but within a realistic framework! This’ll give you the best chance of beating the hackers.


Partner with webmax365, invest in the Security and Performance Plan that best meets your needs, and we’ll make sure your site is available 24/7, without problems, without interruptions, and always looking fantastic!