Virtually every business uses IT to manage at least some aspects of their day-to-day operations, and some are fully reliant on technology to exist. When it’s working smoothly, IT should be an asset to help you boost efficiency and productivity, grow profits, and even tap into employee talent from the other side of the world. However, using the internet, emails and computers to do business can expose you to cyber security threats which can be enormously disruptive, and could even spell the end of your brand. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at cyber security and the impact on your business if you fall victim to criminals online.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is a term used to refer to the practice of defending computers, networks, servers, mobiles and other connected devices from unauthorised access and digital attacks. Cybercrime can be where digital technology is the tool used to carry out ‘traditional’ crime, such as theft of money, or where a criminal is aiming to steal or disable data. In an age where we store so much personal data digitally and it’s normal to shop and bank online, cyber security is more important than ever. And the same is true for businesses. It’s essential to protect employees, customers and assets from cyber criminals. Here’s why…
How can poor cyber security impact your business?
A report by the Federation of Small Businesses found that there are around 10,000 cyber-attacks on small businesses every day. The knock-on implications cost the UK economy an estimated £4.5 billion. But what does a cyber-attack mean for your business, your customers and your profits? Here are four ways cyber security breach could impact your business:
- Loss of customer trust and confidence
Cyber-attacks, particularly those which are successful, can have a dramatic impact on consumer confidence. We all fear our personal data being stolen and then passed around criminal networks, so it’s essential that when we hand over data to a company, we can trust them to look after it. Loss of trust can be very hard to rebuild, so it’s far better to protect against breaches in the first place.
- Wasted time and poor efficiency
If a cyber-attack successfully breaches your IT network, you might not be able to operate while recovery work is taking place. For most small businesses this takes around a day. It may then take additional time to contact customers about data breaches and recover information, impacting staff efficiency.
- Loss of money
The cost of a cyber-attack will come from multiple sources, even if the criminals don’t actually manage to steal any data or assets. They include the cost of paying an IT firm to help secure your systems, lost sales, and customers from the breach and even fines from data regulators (read on for more information about that!).
- Legal implications
This is a big one – data protection and privacy laws require all businesses to secure the data they hold for employees and customers. If you’re found to have been negligent in your business data security, you could face an investigation and fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
How to strengthen cyber security
There are myriad threats to our online security, and they are evolving all the time, so it’s important to review cyber security measures on a regular basis. The best two lines of defence you can have as a business are: employee education and up-to-date cyber security software.
Ensuring employees know the signs of the most common cyber threats and what to do if they think they encounter them is a great way to fend off avoidable attacks. With more employees working remotely than ever before, it’s essential that they are up to speed with cyber security.
At the same time, making sure you have antivirus software and that it is always updated with the most current version is incredibly important. High-spec business software will combine anti-malware, anti-spam, two-way firewall, content filtering and device control, providing your business with complete protection for multiple platforms.
Here at Datalibrium we can advise on the right software and install it for you, so that you can focus on running your business. Get in touch to speak to a member of the team today.