Why Data Protection is Vital for SMB?
In the modern world, data is among the most valuable assets that any business can have. As a result, any small and medium-sized business that wants to survive and thrive in the current environment needs to go the extra mile towards ensuring that its data is properly secured.
While it is true that most cases of data breaches that hit the news are of big companies, this does not mean that small companies are usually spared from such attacks. In fact, small and medium sized businesses are an attractive target for most hackers because they are the ones who rarely employ the latest security features. Cases of companies using old versions of software are common, and as such, they usually make them a prime target for hackers who are looking for low hanging fruit. But the question is, why exactly is data protection so vital for your business? Here is what you should know.
Customer confidence and reputational considerations
When hackers attack your business and steal the details of your customers, it will make those customers less likely to trust you with their banking information. This is so especially if the hackers use these details to carry out bank fraud and any other criminal activity. This erosion of customer confidence will make it less likely for your clients to deal with you. You will also find it harder to maintain beneficial partnerships. This can prove to be a challenge.
In order to avoid the reputational and confidence hit that usually results after a hack, it is always advisable that you invest in security measures. Whether it is creating stronger passwords, using VPNs, or employing the services of a specialized security services contractor, the cost of setting up extra security measures will be less than the cost of reputational damage.
Regulatory fines and penalties
Countries all over the world are having an increasing appreciation of the value of data security and privacy to consumers. As a result, authorities that are responsible for protecting consumers are setting up tough measures and regulations that are geared towards encouraging companies to implement better security measures. Most of these laws and regulations come with fines and other penalties that are typically imposed on a business in case a data breach occurs. Some even support the launching of legal claims against the company.
Most small and medium sized businesses do not have the luxury of absorbing these fines and penalties comfortably. For some, these fines can be crippling to a point of completely sinking the business. Therefore, data protection is sometimes necessary in order to avoid incurring these fines. And since you enhance your data security as soon as you install antivirus on your PC, such a simple act is a convenient and affordable way for a small business to incur such
Shield Against Erosion of Competitive Advantage
Data is sometimes valuable to a business simply because competitors do not have it. It may be data about an expected product launch, information relating to intellectual property, information about strategic plans of the organization, or any other information that will afford you an advantage over competitors.
Hackers tend to release information that they no longer view as useful. There are also cases of competitors launching sophisticated hacking attacks against each other. Therefore, if you have any information that you want to keep away from your competitors, making sure that it is secured and stored in a system that doesn’t have any security vulnerabilities, will go a long way towards maintaining your edge over your competitors.
Sometimes, hackers launch attacks with the intention of extorting money from businesses. They do this by launching an attack that ends up with malicious software encrypting all of the files of a business. This is something that typically renders a business inoperational. And since the hackers know that the business owner will likely pay money in order to get things back to normal, they then demand payment.
Ransomware attacks are expensive not only because of the money that the business has to pay, but also because of the disruptions that they cause to the operations of a business. If you want to avoid having to incur these costs, going the extra mile to ensure that your data is secure, is advisable.
It is important to note that as a small business, you do not have to spend a lot of money on expensive security systems in order to enhance your data security. Some of the simple measures that can boost your data security include: educating your employees on the importance of data security, requiring regular password changes, imposing limitations on physical access of data, ensuring that your software and hardware systems are always updated, and using a good antivirus software.