Today’s world is data-driven.
Therefore, successful organizations have access to a huge volume of data, including financial, logistic, personnel, and consumer data, among others. The manner in which a company manages this massive number of data is a strong sign of success in the contemporary business environment.
According to a report by Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses, and only 14% are self-defense-ready. Businesswire reports that 81% of users would forsake an online platform following a data breach. As it’s evident, customers would do anything to ensure the data they give out is safe.
Cyber leaders’ abilities to defend against cyberattacks
Putting resources into data security is a smart move for any company. It refers to how your organization guarantees that it only utilizes the data it obtains for the stated and intended objectives.
Here are some ways in which a company can grow through implementing strong data security.
- Protecting your company’s reputation
Ultimately, a company’s existence hinges on its ability to deliver valuable services or goods to customers. Customers put their faith in you whenever they use their credit cards to make purchases, even if they make a small purchase. A legitimate company would never willfully expose its customers’ personal information. But even an accidental data breach might damage your company’s reputation in the market.
Regardless of size, businesses of all types face a serious risk from data breaches and leaks. When a security system fails, the consequences go well beyond monetary loss. Weak data security might jeopardize your business’s future and put your customers in danger. Keep in mind that the damage to your reputation caused by careless data handling might happen in a matter of seconds, but it could take years to build. Always ensure you have measures in place to ensure your customers’ data is safe.
- Avoiding unnecessary expenditures
Companies are liable for any lost information, including financial data, customer files, and employee records. However, some businesses fail to invest in data security and proper security protocols because they are either unaware of or choose to ignore the risks that such threats pose to their operational processes.
Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 reports that in 2021, there was an average of 270 cyber attacks per business, a rise of 31% over the previous year. As a matter of fact, compared to just 69% in 2020, 81% of respondents now believe that “keeping ahead of attackers is a perpetual fight, and the expense is unsustainable”.
According to the Purplesec report, the data breach cost increased from $3.86 million in 2021 to $4.24 million, making it the year with the highest average overall cost in the last 17 years. Most of the expenditures are attributable to the harm done to the brand’s image, legal bills, and even penalties.
- Ensuring integrity
The phrase “data integrity” refers to the trustworthiness and correctness of the data. The data must be comprehensive and free of any compromises or deviations from the initial version so you can regard and deem them as credible.
You may preserve your company’s data integrity by adopting storage consolidation, which you can achieve by centralizing your data storage and storing it on separate servers. The primary purpose is to create safe backups to reduce hassle while retrieving data.
Modern data integrity solves a problem that has hindered data-driven success and confident decision-making. It adds context to data and makes information more usable and consumable for organizations. Because data integrity collects correlating intelligence — data definitions, profiles, quality levels, geographical context, and enrichment — businesses can ensure consistent data consumption. Consistency and integrity help synthesize and integrate information, which improves learning and data insights at scale.
PwC found that almost half of local CEOs (43%) and half of the global CEOs (50%) are worried about the spread of false information (or a lack of diverse discourse). Still, many top executives aren’t confident in their companies’ data management capabilities, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Companies with access to, or control over, customer data have a responsibility to act lawfully and ethically in the face of growing consumer cynicism and suspicion.
Business owners should understand the importance of data security both now and in the future for their company’s development and reputation. Any company with high regard for customers’ information will always have the upper hand in the market, which ultimately means more business opportunities on their way.
- Safeguarding sensitive information
Cybercriminals may not necessarily be after stealing information when they target a company; they may just want to mess with it. Information may be lost, tampered with, or corrupted by hackers.
Physical harm to equipment or corruption of digital data are two other outcomes of hacking. It’s possible that some hackers would deliberately wipe files to hurt their victims. In other circumstances, hackers or their tools may mistakenly destroy or lose crucial information. Also, if hackers aren’t paid a ransom, they could encrypt the data and hold it hostage until the payment is made. Sometimes hackers will also use computers that control other devices to harm the hardware or software. In pursuit of understanding how hackers operate, the BishopFox survey report shows that it might just take a few hours for them to empty your network. Most hackers require fewer than five hours after breaking into an IT system to capture and take valuable information.
Data security issues may cripple a company’s operations thus, strong data security mechanisms are essential. A business with firm data security will grow consistently as it won’t have to keep worrying about hackers tampering with its data or having to pay a ransom.
- Giving an edge over your competitors
If a company can keep its important information safe from hackers, it will be able to maintain a competitive edge. Disclosing too much of a company’s strategic plan’s details might impede its growth and development.
In addition, protecting sensitive information is a competitive advantage. When a company has security breaches and leaks, it damages its reputation. Customers are much easier to win over if they know you respect their personal information and use it just as intended.
During the last few years, corporations have prioritized data privacy. As fines for unlawful data usage and storage rise, corporations’ main motivation has been to avoid regulatory penalties. This may seem like a logical commercial strategy, but many organizations don’t know that safeguarding client data is more than simply a box to check to avoid financial repercussions. Maintaining customers by protecting their privacy may be your next competitive edge.
- Providing protection from fines and lawsuits
Customers will take legal action after a data leak. This implies that they may take lawful action against an organization, and if there is any evidence of non-compliance, it will be responsible for penalties. The company may have to compensate clients and pay huge legal fees.
Many sectors have security standards to safeguard client data, with steep penalties for non-compliance. For instance, “Willful disregard” of HIPAA data violations may result in a $1.9 million penalty for one infraction. That’s not sustainable for a small company. Thus, you must double-check and even triple-check patient data. If insufficient security causes a data breach, other national and international regulatory organizations may penalize you.
Your company’s image, revenue, and security might take a hit if you don’t take reasonable precautions to secure sensitive information and comply with the law. Firm data security will help the business grow since there will be no issues with regulatory organizations or non-compliance issues.
Without reliable data security, it is impossible for a company to get an edge in today’s cutthroat business climate. Data security is an ongoing priority for businesses hoping to avoid the costs and reputational damage associated with hacking incidents. To avoid a hacking attempt’s consequences, businesses must regularly improve their data security measures. The greater a company’s data security policies, the better the likelihood of data safety.
CTA: In a competitive business environment, every business needs good data security to stay ahead.
About the Author
Ben Herzberg is the Chief Scientist for Satori, the DataSecOps platform. Ben is an experienced tech leader and book author with a background in endpoint security, analytics, and application & data security. Ben filled roles such as the CTO of Cynet, and Director of Threat Research at Imperva.
Featured image: greenbutterfly