In today’s digital economy, data is the new currency. From online shopping to banking services and business to leisure trips, digital technology plays a crucial role. Data is an important asset to any organization. Hence, it is essential to safeguard it from online criminals. The term “Data security” refers to the protective measures of securing data from unapproved access and data corruption throughout the data lifecycle. In this post, guest author Mian Azhar will discuss why data security (or cybersecurity) is so important in 2019.
Why Data Security is Crucial in 2019
Co-authored by Mian Azhar
When Marriott International acquired Starwood in 2016 for $13.6 billion, neither company was aware of a cyber-attack on Starwood’s reservation system that dated back to 2014. The breach exposed the sensitive personal data of nearly 500 million Starwood customers.
This year, a test of UK university defenses against cyber-attacks found that in every case hackers were able to obtain “high-value” data within two hours.
In 2017, cybercrimes cost accelerated with organizations spending nearly 23% more than 2016 — on average about $11.7 million.
Cybercriminals will steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023. That’s according to a 2018 study from Juniper Research. The compares with 12 billion records Juniper expects to be swiped in 2018.
According to the FBI’s “2018 Internet Crime Report,” reported damages from cybercrime nearly doubled to $2.7 billion, and roughly half of that amount stemmed from business email schemes that zeroed in on wire transfer payments. So, as you can see cybercrimes are really on the rise. But, why is data security so important in 2019?
In its 2019 CEO Imperative Study, management consultancy EY surveyed 200 global CEOs among the Forbes Global 2000 and Forbes Largest Private Companies. According to the CEOs, cybersecurity is a top priority as data security is the biggest threat to the global economy over the next five to ten years.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve brought a brand new personal computer or whether you’ve just started a new business, data security is vital for anyone in possession of digital information. Anyone who has spent hours on a document only for their laptop to malfunction and delete it will know the pain of the loss of information. On a much larger scale, however, data loss can be devastating. It can contribute to much wider, more problematic issues. Below highlights some of the key reasons why data security is so crucial in 2019, and why time and money should be spent ensuring that your company and your clients do not lose out to cyber-criminals.
Loss of Money and Time
The cost of losing data is two-fold. The process of retrieving can often be costly, too, and will be a lengthy process. Purchasing and downloading the software to get your information back can set both you and your company back a considerable amount – and there’s no guarantee it will work. On top of that, if you are part of a larger business it can also cost you time.
The time it takes to source the help needed to get your information back can be not only frustrating but also costly. Hours spent re-creating or retrieving the data could otherwise be spent productively. You can save yourself this loss by investing in your data security, as it may take a while to recover the data for both the company and the clients you have.
For example, you may have to reach out to existing clients to retrieve certain information. This will take time effort and manpower that otherwise you wouldn’t need to give.
Advances in Crime
As technology advances to put our information in secure digital realms instead of storage hardware, the crime inevitably has to follow suit. It’s, therefore vital that cloud security is implemented to prevent hackers from stealing your online data. Cloud security acts as a barrier between your information and online intruders, so you can rest assured that no-one will be able to access your personal or business information.
The advantages in technology are increasing so fast that the nature of cyber-attacks is changing. Many people imagine a specific individual being the culprit for an online attack; however, nowadays, the culprits can often be automated bots. These are designed to target and recognize weaknesses in online infrastructure, without the command of a hacker behind it. It’s therefore important that you implement software that can keep up with these type of progressions.
Another concern is the fact that data could be held to ransom. If, in particular, sensitive files are stolen, and your company is blackmailed into paying the criminal, this could land your company in seriously hot water. You can avoid this from happening completely by putting into place simple firewalls and security software which will act as one more barrier between your data and those that may try to steal it.
It is one thing to lose important and valuable data, but it’s quite another to lose reputation. The reputation of a company is, in many ways, just as much as the finance and information it retains. Reputation loss can lead to a decline in custom as both clients and customers begin to doubt the reliability of the company as a whole. A cyber-attack could imply that your business was not willing to comply with government regulations on electronic communications – as these were partially formulated with safety in mind.
In 2019 there is really is no excuse to be unaware or behind on cybersecurity, which is why your reputation could be so fragile in the event of a cyber attack. Implementing security on your computer systems could equate to security on your reputation. Imagine how your clients will feel if you have to reach out to them and explain you have lost your sensitive data, to a threat you don’t know. This will come across as your company being underprepared. It may likely affect client retention, and if you suffer a high profile loss, this could go one step further and interfere with potential new clients, too.
As the years move forward, the sophistication of cybercrime does too. It’s more important than ever to invest in comprehensive online security measures. No matter if this takes company time and money, it will be worth it if it prevents a massive data loss with some serious repercussions that could be long-lasting for all involved. Taking the necessary steps to protect your company from online hackers could save you time, money and your reputation, so put in that time now. You will be thanking yourself later when your data is safe, your clients are happy and your company can grow as a result.
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