Guest post by Stuart Oldham
All businesses need to take cybersecurity seriously. It is not just large corporations which hold lots of information on cloud-based servers that need to worry about getting hacked or suffering from breaches.
Every kind of enterprise that uses digital equipment of any kind can suffer from a cyber-attack either from inside their organisation or from an external source over the internet.
Why should you always have cybersecurity somewhere near the forefront of your mind when there are so many other things demanding your attention? Read on to find out.
The Loss of Business Reputation
To begin with, any business can suffer from a cyber attack, this is why many companies employ professional business cyber security services. Indeed, new methods for launching attacks on IT systems are being thought of every day by criminals who seek to cause mayhem either for fun or to demand money.
In this sense, there is no reputational damage your brand might suffer from as a result of being attacked. It could even be that your clients and suppliers are sympathetic to you if this were to be the case.
However, not being ready for such an attack would be seen by many as negligent. If customer details are stolen and sold on, then the consequences of a successful cyber-attack can be far-reaching.
It might even mean private data such as financial records are used for fraudulent purposes. Any company that has not taken adequate cybersecurity risk assessment measures to prevent such data losses will understandably be seen as unprepared at least – something that can tarnish a brand for years.
Business-critical IT Losses
Losing the faith of your customers and would-be clients is one thing following a data breach, but some attacks lead to business-critical outcomes. Imagine a cyber threat that manages to gain control of your company’s central server, for example. In such a scenario, all of your database records may be unavailable to use.
This could bring your customer service operation to a grinding halt with no way to remedy the problem. It is not going too far to say that some cyber-attacks have led to even established companies going out of business. Cybersecurity is, therefore, just as business-critical as something as important as public liability insurance.
Remember that it is not just the people and organisations you hold data on who will be perturbed to hear about any data breaches that occur as a result of a successfully launched cyber attack. The UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office, is likely to take a dim view of any such losses, too. Big fines can be handed down to businesses which have not safeguarded their data properly. However, if you take the right precautions with data security, then even if losses were to occur down the line, the consequent judgements made against you are likely to be much less severe.
In the final analysis, cybersecurity is important because it is a central part of best IT practice. Why would you want your business to run in a way that is not up with the times and proactive with respect to its data security? Taking a positive approach to the issue is so much better than trying to catch up after a breach has occurred, after all.
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