Businesses Losing $400 Billion Every Year because of Poor Cybersecurity: Why You Should Start Securing Your Online Assets Today

It’s never been more important to secure your assets online when it comes to your business. Back in the day, cyber-attacks were a strange occurrence that only featured on the news. No one thought data breaches would happen in reality.  Lloyd’s, a British Insurance company estimates that businesses lose $400 billion each year which includes post-attack disruption and direct damage.

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However, after Sony lost $200 million and Target had to deal with a loss of up to $146 million, corporations are starting to realize the need to put in the right security measures. It’s imperative to monitor the system for unauthorized access and other types of attacks. Whether you are a small enterprise or a large corporation, it’s critical to establish a safe and secure IT environment for your online assets due to these reasons:

Secure Your Assets Online

Securing the company’s assets is the primary goal of carrying out a routine check on your computer systems.  The information stored is valuable and crucial to the company, and your priority as an organization is to provide safe access to the confidential information.

Abide by Ethical and Regulatory Requirements

The law requires every organization to develop policies and procedures addressing the security requirements.  These set requirements work for the security and safety of every company and are necessary if your organization works on computers.  Securing your online assets means secures you from liability by addressing to the ethical responsibilities of your company.

Lower Costs of Development

Securing your assets reduces support and development time. You might need to add security features to your system at a later time. The process itself takes time to change and test. Data loss caused by unprotected software may lead to extra costs, not to mention the lost time battling legal cases. It’s critical to ensure that you’ve got your data protected and to add extra security to prevent these misfortunes.

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Meet the Current Standards

You need to update the security software and follow the current standards if you want your system’s security to be reliable. Software security is one of the essential and widespread standards required for any company dealing with electronic data.  Securing your data gives you a chance to see if your systems meet the current standards and to adjust where necessary.

Facilitate Software Interoperability

Additional security means you’ll be able to improve various software system interoperability.  While you might opt for custom exchange formats and data storage as they appear faster to implement, you’ll find it to be expensive when you need other applications for the systems to communicate.

Furthermore, you’ll have to incur extra costs to cover the creation of data converters or to change formats.  Using standard security-enabled data exchange protocols and data storage formats ensure interoperability.

Business Reputation

Hacks in companies can ruin a business reputation. Any business that provides goods or services handles sensitive client information. A single purchase with a credit card may not look like much, but this is confidential information that if leaked could affect your business’ reputation.

When you demonstrate robust security, the customers are willing to trust you, knowing that you won’t breach this information.

No business with intent abuses the client’s data, data leaks may occur when you least expect. Security breaches are a real threat to your business no matter its size. Remember it takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy.

Data as a Critical Asset

As a company, you’re in ownership of information about the products/ services offered, financial and business plans, and data on your clients.  Some of this data caters for revenue optimization risk mitigation, and to improve the business as a whole. The information becomes an asset by the fact that it can generate future benefits. Any information that helps grow your business should be confidential and secure.

Get a Competitive Advantage

An effective security system gives you as a company a competitive edge in the market.  Network security becomes essential in the era of e-commerce and internet financial services.  No client would be willing to work with an organization with compromised security networks.

Increase Network Performance

While downtimes and a few disasters happen once in a while, investing in quality systems security reduces these disasters and boosts your company’s profits. Employees who are not tech savvy won’t have to wonder if a specific email is laden with viruses as you’ll have implemented strong email security.

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The importance of securing data has become paramount today with the average US worker telecommuting two days each month. The figure had risen to 37% showing an increase from back in 1995 when there were only 9% employees telecommuting.  Being able to offer remote access without disruptions promotes productivity.

Prevent Harmful Spyware

Spyware and harmful viruses can paralyze a company’s operations. The right support and network security systems can help protect your company against these vices.  Also, this reduces the need for new computer systems.

Avoid Running into Technical Risks

Terms like DDoS may sound foreign, but they could put your business at risk. Kaspersky reports that 26% of DDoS attacks cause substantial data losses that any company can’t recover from. This exposes what you could be facing. Losing critical data doesn’t only bring compliance violations, it could also affect your annual profits due to the significant fines.

You might consider investing in new infrastructure if the data loss damaged your equipment. If you’re unable to invest in new technology immediately, this could place you in financial jeopardy.

The Risk to Your Customers

Keeping sensitive client information positions you as a reputable organization. However, a slight leak of data not only harms your reputation, but it also puts a risk to your customers. Attackers can use this information to contact your clients while making demands.  Sometimes uninformed or careless employees could expose your company to these risks, and this reflects on your customers. This is something you don’t ever want to deal with; it’s critical to put in the necessary measures to prevent such occurrences.

Expansion into New Markets

Extra security for your traditional applications gives you access to new markets.  Adding security to your local area network communication may provide access to military or a government market.

Avoid Legal Liability

You can suffer legal liability if customers or suppliers prove that you didn’t take the necessary security measures to secure your assets and keep their data safe.  Although the plaintiff suit may fail or the judgment issued is small, you might have to deal with bad public relations which makes it difficult for people to work with you. Taking the necessary steps to safeguard data can help reduce liability and improve your security.

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Steps to Protecting Your Online Assets from Attacks

Here are a few important ways to help secure your assets.

Install a Security System

You need to create and put in place a security system that offers protection and has enough authorization policies.

Analyze the System

After creating and implementing the system, you need to analyze the system to find out if the current security system is right for the network it’s supposed to protect.

Test the Systems Regularly

Conducting tests is imperative to ensure that everything is working seamlessly to protect your online assets against threats.

Make Modifications if Necessary

Once you’ve tested the system, you need to collect data and find out where you can make certain adjustments to improve your security.  Remember that hackers are always coming up with new ways to attack. Test your system often to stay ahead of the hackers and secure your assets.

Fixing Your Employees’ Bad Habits for Better Cybersecurity

According to a report by IBM, 95% of all security incidents discovered human error to be a contributing factor. Last year, popular malware attacks like “Mirai” and “WannaCry” started as a result of poor actions and decisions from end users.

There was a case of an end user clicking on a wrong link, neglecting to install a software update, using a weak password or an engineer who built a vulnerability into a software.  In all these, the hackers did not need to access a built firewall or sabotage hardware. All they needed was to take advantage of poor user habits.

As a company, you might focus on implementing technological solutions to solve technical problems. Nonetheless, failure to identify simple intrusions can put you at risk of an attack.  While machine learning and artificial intelligence systems may to an extent prevent these human behaviors, they are not advanced technologies.

You’ll still need human judgment to know what your security technology is capable of doing and what security needs your company has.  You can fix your employees’ bad habits by improving the efficacy of awareness training.

Don’t train on a yearly basis and wait for another date next year. Make it an ongoing process where employees learn about the mistakes they’ve made and can learn what to do the next time to avoid similar errors.

At times, employees may choose to update the system at a better time and not at the required time.  Unfortunately, this time may never come, and this could expose your systems to cyber criminals. One of the best ways to keep your systems up to date is to set off time on the calendar where employees can complete the update.

Securing your online assets decreases the chance of information theft or privacy spoofing.  Cyber-attacks are becoming a real threat as more business activities move online. Find out what areas of your business are at risk and put in the right measures to prevent data loss.

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