Any organization that handles personal or business data is a potential target for cybercriminals. And because cyberthreats are becoming more numerous and sophisticated by the day, it’s not a matter of if, but when your business will be attacked.
You cannot rely on the mere hope that your organization will survive an attack. Every business needs to invest in cybersecurity to protect against threats and mitigate the damages when an attack does strike. However, don’t pass the responsibility of cybersecurity on to your IT department. As a business leader, you need to be involved as well. Here’s why.
The costs of a data breach are staggering
In 2019, the worldwide average cost of a data breach was $150 per record lost, with the United States being the most expensive country in which to experience a cyberattack.
For small- and medium-sized businesses, the damages are catastrophic: an average of $2.5 million in losses. The same study reported that data breaches have a long tail effect: an incident can still impact your finances several years after the fact. And at worst, data breaches have shut down businesses. For example, the printing company Colorado Timberline had to close its doors for good when ransomware locked them out of their files and paralyzed their operations.
On the positive side, an IBM Security study shows that a company can greatly reduce the overall impact of a breach by responding to it with speed and efficiency. This means creating an incident response team and conducting extensive tests of their response plans. Only top management can make these kinds of decisions that enable their company to survive a data breach.
Reputational damage can shut down your business
To grow your business, it’s critical that your current clients and the general public trust you. You need to assure them that you can safeguard their personal data and keep cybercriminals from infiltrating your network systems. If you fail to do this, your customers have good cause to drop you.
Also, other stakeholders like investors and vendors will pull out their support. That’s exactly what happened to Altegrity Inc. The US government terminated major contracts with them due to a cyberattack that compromised the information of thousands of Department of Homeland Security employees. Altegrity Inc. had to file for bankruptcy after that.
As a leader, you must ensure that should a data breach befall your business, your company should have a system in place to secure evidence of the breach and restore the integrity of the compromised data as soon as possible.
Top-down approach encourages buy-in
According to Kaspersky Lab, 90% of data breaches in the cloud are due to social engineering attacks; such attacks rely on human error to slip past cyberdefenses. Because of this, your employees need regular cybersecurity awareness training. And the best way to encourage employee participation is to undergo the training yourself.
As a business leader, you should be the first to cultivate a culture of security in your company. You are in the perfect position to encourage and enforce sound security strategies that protect your company from an attack.
It’s part of managing a modern business
Today, it is rare to find a business in any field that is not storing their intellectual property and other digital assets on the internet. And technology has become so intertwined with our daily processes, we rely on it to make day-to-day operations more efficient and less costly. But the more we use these internet tools, the more we expose our businesses to potential cyberattacks.
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Business leaders must know how the cybersecurity landscape affects their companies. You should appreciate how cybersecurity fits into your overall corporate planning process. And definitely, you need to leverage technology that protects your business from cybersecurity threats. It’s understandable to resist the inconvenience and expense of additional security measures, but successful organizations are the very richest targets for threat actors. Inconveniences can be mitigated with technology, training and planning, but they can no longer be ignored.
Taking a proactive stance on cybersecurity results in many benefits, including easier compliance and safer data exchange. But it is not a simple task, and can eat up time that you could otherwise devote to mission-critical tasks. Why not outsource your cybersecurity needs to the premier managed cybersecurity provider in Texas? Terminal B offers a robust cybersecurity program, from infrastructure to deployment to training. Drop us a line to learn more.
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