Recent headlines are filled with stories about significant cybersecurity breaches. Major companies like Yahoo, Adobe and the UK’s emergency services have made the news for experiencing large-scale cyberattacks.
Cyber security has become a top concern for businesses of every size and industry. With the rise of “smart devices” and the normalization of remote work, hackers have more access points than ever. It’s no wonder that cybercrime is increasing at a breakneck pace.
Getting hacked is more than just an inconvenience. A data breach can lead to extensive damage, including loss of customer trust and legal repercussions. If your business stores personal information about your customers, a breach may also put them at risk of identity theft.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your staff and customers from these risks. So in this article, we’ll showcase the importance of cyber security for your business and how you can better protect yourself.
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
Corporate entities are one of the biggest targets for hackers. The reason is that companies usually store a lot of information on many people, and company networks can give hackers access to other larger corporations (such as a supplier).
Small businesses are not immune to this threat; quite the opposite. Some hackers will strategically target smaller companies because they typically have less education and take fewer security measures.
On average, a cybersecurity breach costs a business $149,000 in damages. However, this number does not account for the hidden costs of a cyberattack, including lost productivity, decreased buyer interest, and possibly loss of talent.
Additionally, between 2019 and 2022, there has been a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks. The estimated average ransomware demand is $247,000, which is usually on top of already hefty damage costs.
Unfortunately, many desperate companies are willing to pay to get their data back, which fuels the ransomware industry.
Responding to security incidents slows down business operations. On average, it takes at least two full working days to respond to a cyberattack.
That means your company would lose two days of productivity after each breach. If you experience multiple incidents per year, those lost days add up.
Many cyberattacks directly target your operating systems leading to slowdowns or shutdowns. As a result, productivity may slow down or halt before the breach is detected.
A security breach hurts your company’s reputation, especially if your system stores sensitive information. A Forbes Insight report showed that 46% of companies who fell victim to a security breach experienced lasting damage to their reputation.
This reaction is understandable. If you store customer data, a breach puts every one of those customers at risk. Consumers are not likely to purchase from your business if they don’t feel safe giving you their information.
Despite being the victim, falling for a cyberattack can have legal consequences. Many industries require an information security policy that adheres to compliance requirements. Failing to follow this policy can result in severe consequences from regulatory agencies.
Sometimes, victims are unknowing accomplices to the criminal. For example, if sensitive data is stolen from another organization in a company network, the original target may be held accountable for not securing the threat in time.
Being an “accidental accomplice” may not lessen the repercussions.
The Importance of Cyber Security Strategies
Considering the possible consequences of an attack, there should be no question about why cyber security is important. Keeping yourself safe from cyber threats comes down to your security awareness.
Cybersecurity professionals recommend training all potential users on cyber etiquette. Uneducated individuals are a hacker’s biggest targets. Today, it’s not uncommon for people to post a wealth of information on social media.
Therefore, you need to set ground rules about how much information your employees can share. Hackers frequently use social platforms to collect data that helps them gain unauthorized access to accounts.
It is also important to remember that humans do not always perform attacks. Increasingly, cybercriminals employ artificial intelligence to collect information and access networks. Some companies “fight fire with fire” by employing AI to protect them from these attacks.
Your cybersecurity strategy must consider human error and AI infiltration as potential threats. How you protect yourself from these threats depends on your company’s operations. As you develop your protection strategy, ask yourself the following questions.
- How much data is or will be on the cloud? The answer to this question will help you determine how much you need to focus on cloud security.
- Is my antivirus software application up to date? Outdated applications are easier to exploit.
- What would be at stake if there was a data leak? Financial, government, and medical records need comparatively heavier protection because of how criminals could use this information.
- How accessible should my network be? You shouldn’t give all users access to all data. It is a best practice to be selective about access privileges.
- Are there any known vulnerabilities in my system? If so, decide what you can do to patch them. If you can’t patch them, deploy extra security in these areas.
- Am I protecting my staff from social engineering? Education will be their best defense. Promote social engineering awareness at your organization.
Interested in learning more about cyber and information security? Check out these blogs:
Now That You Know Why Cybersecurity is Important, What’s Next?
Firstly, stress the fundamental importance of cyber security throughout your business. In 2022, cybersecurity is everyone’s problem, not just the IT department’s. Emphasize why cybersecurity is important everywhere, in your policies, onboarding, and day-to-day activities.
If planning a cybersecurity strategy seems like a daunting task, a managed services provider can help you. Kearns Technology offers cybersecurity consulting, cloud services, and security policy support.
Our sister company, Dapphaus, can work with you to build a custom security application tailored to your needs.
Contact us today to learn more about the current importance of cyber security in business and how you can protect your customers, your staff, and your corporate reputation.