Cybersecurity is one of the most prevalent issues for businesses all over the world, no matter their size. While the internet has opened up a whole new world of communication, it has also opened up a whole new world of risk. In today’s digital world, businesses and consumers place a considerable amount of sensitive information on the internet, and unfortunately, cybercriminals are always working out new tactics to take advantage of weak security systems.
A cyber-attack can not only interrupt a business’s operation; it can also have a disastrous impact on a business’ finances and reputation.
If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the biggest reasons why your business needs the latest security strategies.
Risk of cloud computing
Many businesses are using cloud computing and storage, as it is often a much more convenient way to operate in terms of document sharing and efficient communication. However, if not managed well, this can leave a business open to cyberattacks where customer and business data can be accessed and exploited or held to ransom. In fact, The Ponemon Institute found there are nine key risks to using cloud computing. The benefits are numerous for businesses across the globe, but it’s essential to be aware of the threats it can pose also.
For example, if businesses store a large volume of sensitive data on the cloud, this can run the risk of loss of intellectual property. What’s more, if confidential data is hacked or leaked, this can be devastating for not only a business’s reputation but for the customers and employees who have their data stolen. It can also affect a business with regards to GDPR, the data protection regulation which came into force in May 2018.
If you’re concerned about the security of your cloud computing system, the team at www.bytes.co.uk has created informative webinars on enhancing your cybersecurity strategies.
Sharing on social media
Vast numbers of people use social media in their everyday lives, and much of this activity takes place on mobile phones. Unfortunately, people don’t realize how easily their information can be accessed via social media sites. If your employees are sharing information on social media profiles, they may be opening your business up to increased risks as the data can be used in a cyberattack. If an employee is posting information about your clients, your competitors can quickly pick up on it and, in some cases, steal that competitor from you.
Additionally, if an employee is posting offensive or politically incorrect views on their personal page, but they are linked to your business publically by adding where they work to their profile, this can negatively affect your business reputation. Once a reputation is lost or damaged, it is incredibly difficult to rebuild that lost trust.
Increased use of mobile devices
The increased use of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops in our working lives makes cybersecurity far more complex, particularly if the same devices are used for personal and professional purposes and/or are taken off premises. With people using devices to access work documents via insecure networks, it’s not surprising that this increases the risk to a business.
If you are allowing employees to use their own devices for work or are taking equipment home, you should formalize a Bring Your Own Device policy. This policy should include what your employees can access via their personal devices; it should also include the importance of ensuring strong passwords are used on the device, as well as what applications an employee should use while using the device at work. Bring Your Own Device can boost productivity and improve employee morale. However, it does need to be carefully considered by your business, and you need to ensure all employees abide by the policy you create.
Complex supply chains
In addition to cloud computing, social media, and poor device security, supply chains are more complex than ever before and outsourcing is the norm for many businesses. This means that we are sharing more data than ever before and we also cannot be sure that third party suppliers are operating as securely as they should be. A weak link in the security of a supply chain will put every business involved at risk.
Mobile payment systems
Paying for services and products online via apps or eCommerce websites is becoming more and more commonplace. This digitization of payment, including the use of mobile devices and mobile payment apps to conduct the transactions, can increase the risk of key financial information being infiltrated. This presents a potential danger to both businesses and consumers.
It’s absolutely paramount that modern businesses take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and prioritize it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the number of cybercrimes doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, and businesses are especially prone to becoming targets. With the above advice, you can protect not only your business profits but your reputation and your employees too.