Data are a great asset for any firm. Most companies rely on them to run their business. Usually, data come in many forms—consumer, employee, client, competitor, sales, financial, marketing, process, product, operational, managerial, etc. All these and other types help firms make decisions, evaluate and enhance performance, and improve their products and services. Data also help a company attract, understand, and retain customers.
It’s, therefore, essential for firms to ensure proper data protection. This is vital, especially in an age where most enterprises use cloud computing, the Internet, applications, computers, and other technological innovations in their daily operations. That said, some small businesses may assume that securing any information isn’t as important to them as it is for bigger organizations. However, hackers target large, medium-sized, and, especially, small businesses, since they know some don’t invest in efficient cybersecurity.
Hiring a full-time team can be expensive because you’ll have to pay salaries and other employee benefits. Instead, you can find a cyber security company in Toronto or around your area that provides managed services for firms. They can offer topnotch protection at an affordable price.
Here are three reasons why you, a small business owner, should ensure proper data security:
1. To Avoid Financial Losses
One of the main reasons to protect all information in your company is to avoid financial losses that come with data breaches. As mentioned, cyberattacks can happen to any business, regardless of size. Hackers often find new vulnerabilities to exploit in networks, hardware, systems, and websites. Therefore, you have to keep upgrading to advanced cybersecurity measures.
Failing to do so can lead to legal consequences, such as being sued by customers or employees affected by a data breach. This means that you’ll need to hire a lawyer for your case. In this case, you’ll have to pay your attorney’s legal fees. If the court favors the plaintiffs, you must provide compensation. Besides that, some countries have an authority that requires companies to ensure that personal information is protected. A data breach could get you fined if such regulations exist in your area.
Moreover, you’ll need to hire an expert after a data breach. This is so they can identify the cause, fix current vulnerabilities, and restore lost data. Besides, buying new hardware, upgrading your software, developing new security measures, and teaching employees about cybersecurity may be necessary.
All the above consequences can be quite expensive to any company. For a small business, it could be hard to recover from the financial loss caused by a data breach.
2. To Prevent Downtime
Lack of proper information protection could cause downtime, significantly affecting your small business. In case of a data breach, you’ll have to stop all operations to first deal with the matter and ensure a successful recovery. During this time, you need to investigate the cause of the breach, check the extent of the damage, and ensure efficient containment.
All these can take time. For instance, an expert will have to isolate the affected files, accounts, and hardware, and perform a security audit to identify and fix existing loopholes. They’ll also help you recover data, develop new and efficient security systems and procedures, and train employees on the best cybersecurity practices.
You may have to shut down or minimize your operations when all of the above occurs. As a result, your sales can decrease and you’ll lose revenue. If you have no extra cash to keep your company afloat, it may be challenging for you to recover quickly or fully.
3. To Maintain A Good Reputation
It’d also be best to prioritize information security to protect the good reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Typically, a company must communicate about a data breach to the affected parties. These may include customers, investors, employees, and the necessary authorities. This can cause a loss of trust. As a result, clients may take their business to other companies that seem to have better security measures in place. Also, you may lose investors and other stakeholders.
Your reputation will be damaged even further if word spreads about the data breach through the media or online platforms. This will scare away other potential clients and investors. As a result, your firm will experience more profitability and growth losses.
A data breach can occur in any company, regardless of its size. Some small business owners may assume that cybersecurity is only for bigger firms. However, they risk getting hacked or losing information to an inside or outside party. Often, the results of a data breach can be quite devastating.
As you’ve learned in this article, you should prioritize data protection as a small business owner. This way, you’ll avoid financial losses, prevent downtime, and maintain your good reputation.