If it seems like the data breaches you are seeing reported in the headlines are getting bigger and bigger as the years pass, you’re probably not imagining it. Cybercriminals have been working harder and harder to get their hands on companies’ sensitive data – and, sadly, even small businesses are a major target.
That’s largely because threat actors know businesses of all sizes can mistakenly leave their cybersecurity measures somewhat lax, potentially giving thieves a way through these companies’ digital defenses. Here are several reasons why it would be imperative for you to prevent that from happening to your own business.
Your company could lose data on which its very survival relies
You might not have realized that most data breaches actually affect small businesses, many of which are relatively vulnerable to cyber attacks due to these companies’ limited budgets as well as the few trained staff members these organizations have for effectively guarding against data breaches.
Worse, about 70% of small businesses that experience system infiltration and data loss fail to survive, says Business Matters. Even just one lapse in data security could thus cost your SME its very existence.
You can protect your brand’s continued online presence
You have probably spent a lot of time and effort equipping your company’s website for the tough task of keeping your brand prominent in a tough online marketplace.
However, much of that work could go down the drain – if perhaps only momentarily – if hackers succeed in taking down your website. Fortunately, a robust cybersecurity system that safeguards your website could help you to bar hackers from executing any crippling attacks on it.
You don’t want to lose customers’ and employees’ information
Cyber thieves won’t let up in their attempts to nab this kind of information. In 2020 alone, 115 million stolen debit and credit cards were shared on dark web marketplaces, as Money reports.
The dark web, accessible only through a special browser like Tor, is where cybercriminals discuss how to steal payment details and how to hack into websites like your company’s.
Failing to protect your data could land you in legal trouble
This is because countries have regulations requiring organizations to adhere to stringent safety measures aimed at protecting the data of these bodies’ customers and clients.
Therefore, if your company falls victim to a data breach and wasn’t following legally-mandated cybersecurity policies that could have prevented that damaging leak from happening, you could see yourself facing legal action, as the UK’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warns readers of its website.
Helps your business gain a competitive advantage in reputation and brand value
Your customers or clients trust you with their personal or financial information; however, if your company falls victim to a data breach, even inadvertently, that trust could immediately be lost. Therefore, it’s definitely a situation where prevention is better than cure.
If your organization is not keen on identifying necessary sensitive data and protecting its misuse, you risk your ability to compete. If your business gets data protection and privacy right, then your brand resilience and reputation is enhanced. But if you get it wrong, you’ll most likely end up in reputational, financial, and legal problems.
Ensure compliance with complex regulations
Requirements by the Cybersecurity regulation authority in every state and country demand accountability in every organization that collects, stores, and uses sensitive data. Your business or company is not an exception, and you could suffer penalties in case you breach the regulations. That could mean fines of up to four times your annual turnover and be barred from processing.
Technology control’s now, more than ever before, become necessary to achieve compliance. The regulator has provided policy templates and maps that address specific requirements, enable data collection, compliance automation, and metrics reporting.
Monitor your employees’ inappropriate conduct
The insiders in your organization pose the highest risk to data security breaches. An employee may want to work from home and therefore send a work-related document to their email. The person may be innocent, but that poses a threat to the organization’s data should sensitive information land a third party.
Therefore, you need a 360-degree monitoring, which includes instant messages, documents accessed, keystrokes typed, and such data that will form part of your evidence for forensic analysis. You must have a tool that controls the applications that are accessible to employees. It should filter web surfing, stop time-wasting and dangerous activities that could pose a risk to the organization’s data.
For this reason, you should be careful to deploy a range of cybersecurity tools – such as antivirus software, data encryption software and, from a company like Wandera, a VPN (Virtual Private Network).