Cybercrime is on the rise, with the World Economic Forum listing cyberattacks as a top global risk in terms of both likelihood and impact.
A data breach constitutes any security incident relating to your business data. This could be regarding the records you hold on customers and their details. It could be data from your financial records. Or, it could be sensitive information about ongoing projects or product development.
Here are just a few ways a successful cybercriminal could harm your business.
Loss of Data
Losing your business data can have a devastating impact, not just in the moment, but for months or years to come. The loss of business-critical data pertaining to projects, projections, forecasting, marketing campaigns, or even human resources could have wide-ranging ramifications.
Beyond this, if the data lost is about customers, clients, or partners, there is also the risk that the data is being used nefariously somewhere else.
The most critical concern for many businesses is the financial implication of a data breach. The Ponemon Institute’s research suggests that costs due to data breaches have risen steadily by 12% in the past five years. If customer data has been lost or used in a damaging way, you may have to compensate those customers.
The same applies to employees affected by a loss of data. If your business is found to be in breach of regulatory law, you could incur fines for non-compliance under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Your Brand Reputation
When customers learn that their data isn’t safe with a business, they have a tendency to take their business elsewhere. Large data breaches often make it into mainstream media, and word of mouth via social media is also very powerful.
If your business becomes known as untrustworthy when it comes to data, it’s much harder to win customers back or to make new connections with potential clients. Beyond this, suppliers and partners may become wary of working with a company that has had a significant data breach, which further impacts business and productivity.
How IT Services Protect Your Business
With the right supplier for managed IT services, you can book a thorough audit of your in-house security systems to find out just how secure your data is. With around 43% of cyberattacks aiming directly at small businesses, it’s important to get expert advice to understand how to improve your cybersecurity.
Your IT services provider should talk with you about effective ways to back up your data to prevent permanent data loss. They’ll discuss ensuring that your staff is fully trained in cybersecurity, so they don’t inadvertently become risks themselves via email scams or other vulnerabilities.
Plus, it’s important to work with your IT services provider to ensure proactive protection to guard your network and business systems against the risk of potential threats.