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Why cybersecurity should be a priority for your business

Technology advancements aren’t slowing down any time in the future. As more businesses embrace digital improvements, cybersecurity is becoming of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the organizations that fail to consider cybersecurity a top business priority learn the hard way this is a costly attitude to take.

Cybercrime isn’t just a risk to your digital technology assets, there is a huge risk to your entire business. As you rely more on technology and more of your business operates online, there is an exponential increase in the risk you will become a target of cybercrime. This can lead to a loss of customer trust, business reputation, financial losses, and potentially losing your business altogether.

Cost of cybersecurity vs cyber-attacks

What is standing in the way of organizations recognizing cybersecurity as a top priority? Most often it is a lack of understanding the actual risk posed by cybercrime. It can also be a perceived issue with the cost of setting up and maintaining robust security measures.

Business managers may prefer to direct their funds to more business related innovations, such as setting up remote workforces. There may be a lack of IT knowledge within the company, which influences how funds are prioritized towards digital assets.

Whatever the reasoning, it’s vitally important for business managers to weigh the costs of cybersecurity investment against the cost of becoming a victim of a cyberattack. The cost of recovery from cyber-attacks is higher than the cost of prevention. The decision to invest in cyber security is often hotly debated by companies, especially small businesses. However, with the average cost of a breach now US $4.24 million and the global average cost of cybercrime is expected to peak at US $6 trillion annually by the end of 2021, it’s clear even a modest investment in cybersecurity will be beneficial.

What happens if cybersecurity isn’t a priority?

Many organizations have learned the hard way that cybersecurity is a vital part of their  business operations. Malicious actors will look for any vulnerabilities in a company’s system and push hard to infiltrate. The outcomes are devastatingly real – in 2020 the average cost of a data breach for business in the US was $8.64 million.

Cyber-attacks cause many issues, from disruption to operations, financial losses that cause businesses to close, to heavy regulatory fines and legal action.

Loss of reputation

A cyber-attack, particularly one that occurred as a result of poor security measures, leads to a severe loss of customer and shareholder trust, brand loyalty, and business reputation. Virtually no one wants to engage with a business that doesn’t take the security of critical and sensitive data seriously, especially if they have suffered losses as a direct result of the attack or are required to cut ties due to compliance requirements or potential losses that may occur if they continue to associate with your business. Data breaches that result in sensitive information being used for fraudulent purposes, identity theft, or sold on the dark web are especially detrimental to your business reputation.

Cyber-attacks are costly

Data is king when it comes to business, and cybercriminals are finding more sophisticated methods to extract this information to use for nefarious purposes. This can range from personal information, intellectual property, patents, financial information, and happens in almost every industry around the world.

A successful cyber-attack will lock you out of your business databases and malicious actors can demand a huge ransom to restore your access. Malware introduced in an attack can alter, access, or delete your mission-critical data, leaving you with huge costs for incident response, recovery, and potentially legal liability reparations. In fact, the biggest cost of a cyber incident is disruption or downtime of business operations, and the ensuing time needed to ensure the It systems are clear afterwards.

Risk of business continuity

The harsh reality of cybercrime is it costs businesses more in the long term, especially small to medium sized companies. Larger organizations and global tech giants are more likely to weather the storm, due to having the funds and infrastructure to recover from cyberattacks, even repair their dinted reputations. Approximately 60% of small businesses close within six months of falling victim to a successful cyber-attack.

What’s the takeaway for prioritizing cybersecurity?

Any organization who wants to be successful in today’s evolving threat landscape needs to take cybersecurity measures seriously. It’s not just your business data on the line, a cyber-attack can have devastating consequences for the short term and into the future.

Investing in the type of cybersecurity solutions your business needs is as important as the protection itself. Each business has its own unique needs when it comes to security and the advice and support from security specialists can be invaluable to analyze your IT environment and ensure you get the full benefit of your security investment.

The cybersecurity experts at Skynet MTS have the knowledge and experience to ensure your business retains the highest level of protection, with comprehensive strategies that fit your business needs and budget.