More than ever, “business as usual” depends on technology. The advantages of technology expand through every part of operating, from near-instantaneous data access to the convenience offered by automation technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT).
It can be difficult to believe that potential risks hide behind every gadget and platform when technology has brought us so much good. But while many businesses believe that modern technology has enough integrated protection to keep them out of harm’s way, cyber security threats remain an ever-present danger.
An effective cybersecurity system offers a defence against malicious assaults by hackers, spammers, and cybercriminals on internet-connected devices and services. Companies of various sizes utilise service providers, like Loopli, to safeguard themselves from data breaches, ransomware attacks, phishing scams and financial losses.
Cybersecurity should be a crucial facet of any business. If your company relies on outdated, generic software to keep threats at bay, here are five important reasons to invest in cyber security.
1. Cyber Criminals Are Adapting
Over recent years, the occurrence of cyberattacks has steadily increased, largely as a result of the development of new, advanced online technologies and digital innovations, like the IoT. Technology has evolved rapidly, with new systems being rolled out to users all the time and tweaked with updates as cyber threats are detected, but tech isn’t the only thing that’s becoming more complex. Cyber-criminals have adapted as well, coming up with fresh ways to attack and defraud organisations.
With an increasing global population and more companies operating in a digital-first world, cybercrime is becoming more prevalent. In 2022, the overall number of internet users currently constitutes 63% of the world’s population. Forecasts predict this figure will continue to grow year on year, particularly as digital accessibility reaches rural and disconnected areas of China and India.
The focus of cyber-criminals continues to shift also. Currently, the three industries that are most impacted by cyberattacks are retail, healthcare, and finance. Perhaps surprisingly, even the highest-ranking government agencies are vulnerable to malicious attacks. As an illustration, the US Defence Agency experienced a data breach in the middle of 2019 that went undiscovered until February 2020.
2. Reputation Damage Control
Customer satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important component of every business as consumers become more connected. In fact, if your customers do not trust your brand, it is practically impossible to succeed in today’s cutthroat business environment. Studies show that 40% of online shoppers will discontinue a transaction if they doubt your website’s security.
Data security and privacy have always been important, but with the arrival of GDPR, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about these issues. For instance, if there are any signs that your online store is not secure, from an expired SSL to poorly written content, the majority of buyers won’t provide you with their payment information. The savviest modern shoppers will even go to the trouble of checking reviews and Googling whether your website has ever been hacked.
From Trustpilot reviews to social media forums, your customers have ample opportunity to find and share experiences online. And, if their experience with yours was subpar, particularly related to financial security, you’ll soon feel the impact.
3. Reliance On Cloud Data Means Greater Risks
Corporate mobile technology has rapidly become popular despite being new to the market. Due to the adaptability and effectiveness of cloud technology, most businesses now use cloud services for efficiency reasons. But storing your data in the cloud doesn’t make it immune to cyber threats.
In contrast to on-premises servers, where data can only be compromised at the physical site, users can access information stored in the cloud from anywhere on Earth. Consequently, it can also be infiltrated from anywhere in the world. While respectable cloud providers use a strict security system with multiple levels of protection, the technology is still vulnerable if security gaps aren’t adequately closed. Not to mention that the mobile devices most users access cloud data from are also smaller in size, which makes them easy to lose, another risk factor for potentially exposing sensitive information.
Many businesses decide to employ a hybrid cloud strategy because they appreciate the cloud is still relatively new and there is more development to be done. Organisations can use this strategy to take advantage of both on-premises servers and the cloud, giving them the best of both worlds. Combining a hybrid approach with a robust cybersecurity system and updated security roadmap tackles the most common cloud security threats head-on.
4. Regulatory Requirements
Businesses are required by law to prevent unauthorised access to critical consumer information. Failure to adequately meet cybersecurity standards is considered non-compliance and met with harsh penalties and fines with short grace periods. After a cyber-attack on your business, you may also be subject to strict regulatory reviews that call for increased compliance and regular audits.
A data breach, for example, can lead to numerous lawsuits that may carry expensive settlement figures. For example, the 2014 cyber-attack on US chain store, Target, exposed the data records of approximately 70 million customers. Accordingly, the organisation had over 140 group action lawsuits that amounted to more than $10 million in settlements.
Not only do you suffer the financial impact of being non-compliant with cybersecurity regulations, but you also risk the long-term impact of losing the respect and confidence of your investors and business partners.
5. Internal Threats Are Increasing
One IT security survey found that, compared to previous years, the prevalence of internal security threats is growing at a faster rate than external threats. In fact, it is believed that 30% of all cybersecurity issues are attributable to employee activity, and this percentage is rising as more businesses underestimate the importance of security.
In order to safeguard your company from internal risks while also guarding against external ones, it is essential to allocate your attention and resources to both. With the appropriate cybersecurity strategy and approach, you can minimise the potential threat from both employees and other corporate stakeholders.
The sophistication and innovation of cybercriminals are increasing. They are aware that your company’s defences against malicious assaults are weakest when an employee is involved. In the majority of cases, cunning attackers aim for personnel who have access to crucial data for your company. With proper cybersecurity training, your personnel can spot suspicious activity and avert situations that could ruin your company. Share best practices among your employees, consultants, contractors and suppliers and work together to reduce the likelihood of accidental security breaches.
In any company, both people and processes must work collectively to efficiently protect the organisation from cyber threats. A robust cybersecurity strategy should be adopted that involves multiple layers of protection. Learn more about what the entails in Why You Need Cybersecurity Consulting For Your SME.
Get in touch today for advice specific to your company or to learn how Loopli can provide you with security and compliance protection that evolves as your business grows.