No matter what type of business you own, you need to understand the importance of IT security. IT security, or cybersecurity, refers to a series of techniques and procedures to guard a business’s confidential data and essential systems against online data infringements and cyber threats. Here are some of the main reasons why this is crucial for businesses:
1. Cyber Crimes Are Becoming More Common
In 2022, businesses in the U.S. experienced an average of 270 cyber attacks per company. This figure is over 30% higher than in 2020, meaning that cyber crimes are increasing. One of the main reasons for this increase is that many businesses are unaware of how to prevent these attacks from happening. They do not have the knowledge, skills, or technology to stop cybercriminals from accessing their systems.
Thankfully, there is a way around this issue. Businesses can outsource their IT security to a Managed Services Provider. These companies have up-to-date knowledge, skills, and technology to reduce the chances of cybercrimes occurring.
2. Cyber Crime Can Impact Your Business
Companies have many assets that cybercriminals can take advantage of. For example, they can retrieve personal information about customers or businesses or gain access to your money. Once they have this information, they can then exploit it. Here are some of the ways this can negatively impact your business:
- It can cause you to have financial losses – it is estimated that by 2025, cybercrime will cost companies $10.5 trillion worldwide. This has increased by $7.5 trillion since 2015.
- It may lead to a dip in productivity
- Data breaches can significantly damage your reputation – particularly if customer data is stolen.
- It can affect customer retention – once a brand reputation gets damaged by a data breach, customer retention will also reduce. Customers often lose faith in a business that has suffered a data breach.
- It can cause business continuity problems.
- Legal liability – businesses may be liable when a data security breach occurs. However, this depends on certain factors, including how the information was stored and how well it was protected before the breach occurred. If you can prove you did everything possible to prevent a breach from happening, you may not be legally liable.
- It may force you out of business – an estimated 60% of businesses affected by significant data breaches go out of business.
3. To Ensure Your Business Complies With Regulations
Another reason businesses need to take IT security seriously is to comply with government regulations. In recent years, governments have increased their regulations for cybercrime. One example of this is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Though not drafted in the U.S., this regulation imposes obligations on businesses in Europe. It forces businesses to communicate any data breaches, appoint a data protection officer, anonymize data for privacy, and require user consent to process information.
In this modern, technologically advanced world, IT security has become necessary for businesses of all sizes. This is because, no matter how big or small a business, they all possess confidential data that is at risk of being stolen by cybercriminals. Not protecting this data can cause many issues, including the ones we’ve listed above.