We’re entering a progressively networked world where information is being shared at lightning speeds and the IT infrastructure is intricately interconnected. From businesses to government and military affairs, cyber security is the top most concern for all. The absence of adequate protection may yield drastic consequences for all parties involved.
If you think cyber security is not a pressing issue for your enterprise, here are a few statistics that’ll make you think otherwise.
- Cybercrime costs over $400 billion annually to the global economy (Center for Strategic and International Studies).
- More than 429 million personal records were exposed in 2015 as a result of cybercrime in financial, healthcare, business, government and education sectors (Symantec).
- The mega discount retailer Target faced cybercrime in 2013 whereby 40 million credit and debit card numbers were compromised. The company had just updated to a state-of-the-art malware system.
- Security breaches are on the rise with 38% more cybercrime cases reported in 2015 as compared with 2014. Ransomware has increased by 35% in 2015 (Symantec).
- Cyberattacks are increasing both in numbers and sophistication. Human error is still the leading reason behind successful security breaches. Over 230,000 new malware are produced every day. Despite this, 90% companies worldwide believe they are insufficiently prepared to tackle cybercrimes conducted against them.
Why Cyber Security?
For all kinds of businesses, data is critical. It is the lifeline, the competitive edge, the core of a business. This does not only include personal information provided by the clients but also information about company assets and processes.
Sensitive data is being exchanged on unified networks every day. The primary purpose underlying this is the convenience for all kinds of users. For instance, personal online banking allows users to manage funds without visiting the bank. The ecommerce industry is thriving on the ease of online payments and deliveries. Tons of data is being exchanged on online networks, raising the risk of cybercrime.
Companies keep sensitive consumer and company information for different reasons. All interactions with the company (online and offline) are documented. But if cyber security measures aren’t implemented the right way, it may lead to expensive breaches.
Benefits of Cyber Security
There are several benefits of implementing cyber security measures, which include:
- Protection of Sensitive Data: Security breaches directly compromise sensitive data. For several institutions, this means financial losses for stakeholders that will have to be compensated by the company. It may or may not involve lawsuits as well. Needless to say, protection of sensitive data goes a long way in promoting company health and goodwill. Once compromised, it is often difficult for companies to regain consumer trust and reputation in the market.
- Regulatory Compliance: All companies are required to conform to certain IT security protocols set by the local authorities. Failure to do so may incur severe penalties. Although this does not mean cyber breaches will not occur, it does help in increasing preparedness of companies to tackle such impending issues.
- Reducing Incidents and Breaches: All companies realize they can never truly ward off threat altogether. New technologies come with their fair share of challenges. As some experts put it, it is no longer the question “if” cybercrime will occur but rather about “when” it will happen. Investing in cyber security ensures such incidences are few, if at all.
- Quick Detection and Remedy: In companies where the infrastructure is particularly poor, it takes a long time, maybe even years, before cybercrime is detected. This equates to bigger losses and severe consequences. However, companies that have a stable IT infrastructure in place are often able to detect cyber security issues in a timely manner, enabling the IT team to rectify issues before the problem intensifies.
- Identifying Problem Areas: Although it is common knowledge that human errors are the root cause of cybercrime in 90-95% of the cases, there may be other factors involved. Cyber security measures facilitate in identifying where the problem instigated and address such issues to inhibit recurrence.
- Transparency and Employee Morale: Implementing the right cyber security protocols and providing employee training can help boost employee morale and inculcate the right attitude in the workplace that can limit cybercrime risks. If every employee understands and appreciates the need to maintain healthy cyber security practices, it will eventually help the company build adequate cyber strength in the long run.
- Simplified Operations and Reduction of Effort: With adequate cyber security initiatives, not only is the risk of cybercrime and hence financial losses reduced but also operational efficiencies are increased due to the elimination of repetitive manual tasks. It is a win-win situation for the company investing in cyber security.