Why Your Company Should Care About Cyber Security
12 October 2022
In today’s digital world, risks are everywhere. Connecting to the internet opens your business to various threats—from malware attacks to social engineering scams. Cyber crime has become a common problem for organisations globally.
In the UK, cyber attacks grow by the day.
According to CyberEdge 2022 CDR report, more than 80% of UK companies experienced a successful attack in 2021. The report also shows that ransomware attacks affected 73% of UK organizations—a 15% increase from 2020.
Therefore, ensuring your computer and data are protected from cyber security threats is vital.
Without a cybersecurity strategy, your company can’t defend itself against cyber attacks. Bad actors can steal your company’s sensitive data, launch a DDoS attack, steal your finances, hurt your reputation, and more.
Need more reasons to invest in your company’s security? In this guide, we’ll share 7 reasons why your company should care about cyber security. But first, let’s get down to the basics.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting computers, networks, mobile devices, servers, data, and electronic systems from malicious attacks.
In its most basic form, cybersecurity refers to a series of strategies put in place to protect an organisation from security breaches resulting from cyber attacks.
It encompasses technologies, structures, processes, and strategies used to protect data, networks, and electronic devices from unauthorised access. The goal of any cyber security strategy is to ensure confidentiality, availability, and data integrity.
There are many ways in which cyber security issues can impact a company.
A hacker, for instance, can steal sensitive customer data, such as bank details and sell them on the dark web. If this data is exposed to the general public as a result of a data breach, the company can suffer legal consequences and reputational damages.
Cyber security threats can affect any company, irrespective of size.
Whether you’re a multinational conglomerate or a budding startup, you’re at risk of cyberattacks if you use technology in your business. And cyber security threats are becoming more sophisticated by the day as technology evolves.
In the UK in 2020, for instance, Virgin Media fell victim to a cyberattack, which exposed sensitive data for over one million customers due to a flaw in the company’s marketing database.
In the same year, British supermarket Tesco was forced to issue over 500,000 new club card loyalty cards following a security breach.
Other big-name UK companies that have fallen victim to cybersecurity attacks include MGM Resorts, Teletext Holidays, Mumsnet, and Boots pharmacy.
To keep customer data protected in a dangerous online environment, organisations should implement intelligent cloud security solutions. Companies should also embrace cyber security awareness training and adopt cyber security best practices and policies like multi-factor authentication to secure themselves as much as possible.
Why Your Company Should Care About Cybersecurity
Without further ado, let’s get to the reasons why cyber security should be a top priority for every organisation—big or small.
- To Protect Sensitive Business and Customer Data
As long as an opportunity presents itself, cyber criminals will not hesitate to steal your company’s sensitive data. It can be customers’ confidential data, business sensitive data, trade secrets, business plans, and bank and transaction records.
As mentioned, this data gets sold on the dark web at an incredibly low price.
Anyone who gets hold of this data can use it to wreak havoc on the company or customer. If they get access to customers’ sensitive info like bank details, they can wipe clean the customer’s bank account and even open new lines of credit in the customer’s name.
As a business owner, you are duty-bound to protect customer secret data. Failure to do so can lead to severe fines and penalties. Worst of all, an organisation can find its banking or credit card facilities withdrawn due to violation of privacy/customer protection laws. But all that can be avoided if you have cyber security in place
- A Security Breach Can Result in Tarnished Reputation
Whether hackers steal customer records or trade secrets, they can seriously harm your company’s reputation. Worst of all, a security breach can lead to a loss of customer trust.
And once customer trust is gone, you can expect customer loyalty and revenue to take a hit. Breaches damage your brand, and winning customers back can prove difficult, particularly if some have suffered financial damages due to the breach.
Bad vibes about your brand will spread all over the internet and customers will think twice before interacting with your brand.You become a liability in their eyes, and they’re more likely to turn to the competition in the future than risk their data being involved in another cybersecurity attack in your company. Research shows that organisations see (on average) a 3.9% increase in customer turnover after a data breach.
- To Protect Your Organisation’s Finances
After a cybersecurity attack, there are usually a lot of financial ramifications.
First, hackers could hit your organisation with a ransomware attack, locking you out of the system. They will then ask for a hefty ransom (usually paid via Bitcoin), which you may have to pay to regain your company data and restore operations.
This can have a huge blow to your bottom line since the figure is usually in millions.
The current rate for a decryption key is roughly 0.3 Bitcoins (about £100,000). In 2021, Travelex, a UK-based foreign exchange company, was grappling with a ransomware attack and ended up paying $6 million in ransom (approx. £4.3 million).
Secondly, customers could have their data leaked and file complaints against your company. These lawsuits can be costly and hugely affect your company’s profitability. The fines and penalties paid will also lead to financial loss.
And since the breach will likely be made public, the company’s stock price will fall, negatively impacting the company and its value.
- Increases Productivity
Old and outdated technology can hamper your employees’ productivity.
Such technologies are usually vulnerable to cyber attacks.
With a cybersecurity assessment, you can update and even replace some legacy systems your business uses. This will allow for improved performance in speed and efficiency and ultimately lead to an increase in employee productivity. Hence, prioritising cyber security isn’t just good for the business, it’s good for your employees too.
- Helps Your Business Stay Compliant
Every company has unique compliance requirements that must be followed regarding cyber security and data protection.
A cyber security audit team will teach your team how they can remain compliant with the governing data protection laws. Where there are loops in data privacy that may lead to a breach, the team will advise on the best practices to ensure maximum data protection in compliance with the governing laws.
- You Owe It to Your Customers
Strong cyber security practices can help you win customers and retain that credibility as a trusted resource within your industry.
But gaining new customers and protecting your valuable assets isn’t the only reason businesses should adopt strong cyber security practices. As a business owner, you owe it to your customers to protect their data from any potential breaches.
Your customers entrust you with their sensitive information and you are duty-bound to keep it safe: that’s why data privacy is so important to organisations and governing bodies, with failure to safeguard this information having dire consequences.
- Adopting Remote Work Requires It
The onslaught of the global COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in the remote workforce. Today, many organisations are offering hybrid working models—a flexible model that supports a blend of remote, in-office, and on-the-go workers.
This working model allows employees to choose to work wherever they are most productive. While remote working may be good for employees’ work-life balance, it can make the company vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
As you can imagine, remote working requires a greater focus on small business cyber security. Organisations adopting remote or hybrid working models need to have strong policies regarding access to corporate networks and the use of corporate resources.
For instance, if remote employees use public Wi-Fi, they can make it super easy for hackers to infiltrate the network. Some cyber security best practices for remote workers include using a VPN when accessing a company’s resources.
However, not all companies have security-focused policies and procedures for remote working. Data from Alliant Cybersecurity shows that 22% of organizations allow their employees to work remotely without proper cyber security policies in place.
Not having proper cyber security policies in place, especially concerning remote working, can open up your company to attacks.
Inadequate cybersecurity measures can negatively impact your business in many ways. From the inability to protect customers’ data leading to lawsuits, to reputation damages and loss of finances, it’s easy to see why small business cybersecurity matters.
Don’t make it easy for dangerous hackers to infiltrate your business – here at ICT Solutions, we offer advanced security services, including advanced firewalls, anti-spam software, disaster recovery plans, and regular website and data backups.
Contact us today to learn about how we can help strengthen your company’s cyber security.