The recent media focus on data security is not merely hype – according to IBM, data breaches are among the most common and costly security failures that befall organiziations. The sophistication of cyber attacks has grown significantly in recent years; cyber criminals are both specializing and sharing intelligence so as to acquire sensitive data and disrupt critical business functions. Former threats, such as viruses, have been replaced with sophisticated attacks that can cripple the whole IT system of an organization.
Data is arguably one of the most important assets of any business, and comes in various forms. The majority of organizations possess not only private data, but intellectual property, which can take the form of internal presentations, source code, patent applications and development plans.
Cybercrime’s Detrimental Consequences
For businesses and corporations, the costs associated with security breaches are very diverse, and pose a severe threat to businesses, as their impact may be long-lasting. This is compounded by the fact that all industries are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Costs associated with business cyber crime include:
• direct financial loss
• violation of privacy
• lower competitive advantage and lost sales
• damage to corporate image
• loss of business continuity.
The risks are even higher for small companies, since the loss of project files or customer database could result in business failure.
Securing the data is especially important in the case of mission-critical data – data that must be available at any time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a mission-critical system fails or is interrupted, business operations are significantly impacted.
Compliance with Relevant Data Protection Rules and Legislation
Apart from keeping information safe and safeguarding the firm from all of the above-listed risks, protection of business data ensures compliance with relevant data protection rules and legislation. Employees downloading business documents to a public drive, and downloading, storing and transferring unencrypted confidential documents from a workplace desktop to a generic USB drive are all examples of security risks that can occur in organizations involving negligent or malicious users. Failure to adhere to data protection rules could lead to legal action and hefty fines.
Securing the Future
In today’s world, full of cybercrime and hackers, it is important for companies to have thorough security measures in place. Ultimately, it is up to the businesses to develop a strong security posture that accounts for the different types of data to prevent against a wide range of security risks.
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