Companies can rise or fall based on how well they gather, analyse and use data, but also on how well they protect that data. Taking care of data is taking care of business then and, while the GDPR and other global measures to regulate data management are helpful in some respects, they are not a magic bullet.
The responsibility is with business owners then. A data breach is a trust breach which can leave massive reputational damage, not to mention potential legal consequences.
So, how big a problem are data breaches?
80% of companies globally expect a data breach within the next 12 months and, in the UK alone, up to 88% of companies experienced data breaches in the past 12 months. Indicative of the impact this can have, it’s estimated that 60% of small businesses close within 6 months of being hacked.
Cybersecurity is an existential issue then, and something every business and entrepreneur should be taking seriously. So, what can you do to make your business cybersecure?
Backup, off site
This is the central pillar of cybersecurity recovery plans. Something every new venture needs. You must constantly and consistently backup data off-site at a secure location. This avoids the risk of server problems that prevent access to it, too.
When retrieving data from an off-site location, remember to use a device which you are confident is free of any bugs, cookies or malware.
Optimise the Cloud
Backing up off-site often runs alongside migrating as many business functions as possible to Cloud technology, This makes data more secure and Disaster Recovery planning more assured.
You may need to ask for specialist help in avoiding ‘Cloud jacking’ if you are particularly at risk from cyberattacks.
Block and filter
Repelling cyber-attacks – and avoiding accidental data loss – can pivot on having sufficiently integrated and advanced IT in your business. IT that provides a high degree of control and transparency over end-to-end data management.
From well-managed IT comes the ability to detect and block viruses – and spot commonly used malicious codes – automatically. This stops them from spreading to other devices or your entire network.
Contrast that with legacy systems, or remote staff working from multiple devices. This leaves far too many gaps and cracks where viruses or fraud can infiltrate your business.
Test and train
There is no room for complacency, even when you create an advanced digital workplace. You must schedule regular tests to assess the validity of your cybersecurity measures.
Even then, employees could accidentally punch a hole in your defences unless they are constantly trained in data management and security.
A Cost of Data Breach Report 2020 reported that 23% of data losses were due to human error. So, no matter how savvy you think you and your team are when it comes to cybersecurity, there’s never any room for complacency.
Update and stay aware
Keeping technology updated is also vital. IT developers are constantly outsmarting cybercriminals, with patches and updates containing the latest measures to detect and block their efforts. Being aware of the latest ransomware and malware – or new viruses in general – helps you stay one step ahead too.
Cybersecurity is critical to the well-being of your business and your customers and a breach can have serious consequences. So, the key message is, stay vigilant and never let your guard down!