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Cybersecurity or IT security remains a challenge for businesses of all sizes and types operating in various industries globally. Despite rapid progressions in modern technology, emerging cybersecurity threats continue to impact businesses and end-users, resulting in severe issues. In today’s complex, unstable, and hostile cyberspace, the companies that sustain, grow, and remain operational are the ones that continue to leverage state-of-art cybersecurity measures to ward off modern security risks that can threaten the very existence of the business.
Startups and small-to-medium business ventures are particularly vulnerable, with recent statistics showing that after being hit by some form of a cyberattack, more than 60% go out of business! On average 2,200 cyberattacks occur daily, meaning there is on average 1 cyberattack every 39 seconds . The recovery cost to businesses is in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
The current global health crisis has allowed cybercriminals to target a wider audience as more end-users go online for education, work, and to connect with the services they need. Analysts have revealed a whopping 600% increase in cybercrimes due to the pandemic, as cybercriminals and malicious hacktivist groups target businesses operating industries such as healthcare, education, finance, logistics, etc. Cybersecurity experts have said that, “It is no longer a question of whether or not you will be hacked. The question is when will you be hacked.”
Cybersecurity encapsulates different areas of security such as network security, internet security, data security, device security, software security and so on. It is critical for organizations to take appropriate measures to ensure they have achieved and are maintaining effective security across all these aspects. A business is exposed to a host of internal and external security risks such as insider threats, sophisticated digital attacks, out-of-date controls, data breaches, malware attacks, configuration errors, inadvertent mistakes, and so on. Cybersecurity plays a critical role in protecting the overall business ecosystem. A business lacking appropriate security measures jeopardizes the privacy and security of its customers, partners, employees, and stakeholders. There is a real risk of both losing revenue and facing ongoing and unwanted complications.
As a business owner, regardless of whether you are new to the understanding the requirements of digital security or are looking to make improvements to your existing cybersecurity infrastructure, you will find that spending appropriately on cyber security amounts to investing wisely in your future viability. Here are the top 7 ways investing in cybersecurity or strengthening your existing digital security can improve your business.
Cybercriminals leverage attack vectors such as phishing to plant malware, trojans and even ransomware, any of these may cause irreversible damage to a company’s assets or worth. Experts anticipate that by the end of 2021 the damage costs of cyberattacks may reach or exceed the $6 trillion mark. Properly deploying state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures will increase security in all business processes and operations, countering the risks from security breaches.
Digital attacks typically cause business disruptions and system downtime. Specifically, cyberattacks that leverage ransomware are one of the top security threats a business need to prepare against. Ransomware is more recently also associated with the theft of critical data from of an organization, with adversaries not simply demanding ransom, but also threatening to misuse, expose or sell the exfiltrated data and potentially ruin the business reputation unless the ransom amount is paid on time. According to industry analysts, an organisation somewhere in the world will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021. Businesses can leverage modern cybersecurity solutions with the capabilities to identify and mitigate such threats to maximise security and ensure business continuity.
Human mistakes play a major role when it comes to security breaches. In fact, it has been reported that as high as 95% of security breaches occur due to some form of human error or negligence. Providing cybersecurity awareness education, offering security training programs for employees and conducting security exercises can help your employees gain valuable cybersecurity skills and knowledge. This will allow your teams to make security-conscious decisions while identifying and mitigating security threats on site.
Cyberattacks cost businesses millions of dollars every year. Despite having good security measures in place, a legion of companies suffer security intrusions annually as cybercriminals leverage complex techniques that exploit vulnerabilities through attack vectors that are in some way unique. Immediately following a cyberattack there are significant recovery costs and depending on the type and impact of the attack these costs could be huge. Having effective cybersecurity measures in place can avoid potential major security incidents and the associated revenue loss.
A cybersecurity breach ultimately means that a company has failed to protect its own assets and the data of its customers and partners. This results in a public relations crisis, reputational damage and a loss of trust from customers, ultimately leading to loss of existing customers and potential new business. Organisations that maintain protection over the data of their customers and stakeholders are seen as trustworthy, they will continue to attract more business, and have an enhanced reputation and good public relation as a result.
Hackers can infect a business system with destructive malware, causing systems to run slow, corrupt business data, exfiltrate company secrets, and make you lose focus on your business goals. Effective cybersecurity measures will hugely reduce the chances of a crippling malware infection and thereby support increased productivity of employees by providing systems that continue to run smoothly so your teams can achieve their full potential.
Businesses suffering from a cyberattack or a security breach may potentially face numerous legal complications in the form of fines, lawsuits, out-of-court settlements, contract breaches and the like. Investing in modern digital security solutions can help businesses avoid lengthy lawsuits, complex legal proceedings and substantial fines.
Looking over the trends of cyber threats over the past decade and considering the current state of cyberspace, it is safe to say that the threat environment of cyberspace is only going to get worse over time. This reality serves to emphasize the critical need for every organisation to be proactive with their digital security protections. In this landscape, cyber security has become an essential business enabler, rather than simply a business overhead. Adopting, integrating and maintaining effective cybersecurity measures in your business will; reduce the likelihood of your business becoming the victim of a cyber attack, reduce the impact of any incidents that you do experience, and underpin the growth and improve the overall productivity of your business.
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