Internet security is probably not among your top priorities when starting a business but ignoring and neglecting the potential dangers can put your business in grave danger. Among the mistakes that business owners commit is thinking that their businesses have a lower risk than other businesses. The truth is cybercrime has no big or small targets if you are vulnerable then you are a target. The damage that a cybercrime can bring to your business can take years and a lot of resources to recover from. Let us look at how this crime can damage your business.
Customer Confidence and Loss of Reputation
Let us say for instance you are a victim of cyber hacking, you will be left vulnerable and exposed. Considering you do your sales online, you definitely have your client’s user information in your database. That single hack can freeze business operations or even worse still put your company out of business. Customers want to know that as a business you can keep their private information confidential and protected. Once they realize that you lack the capacity to do that, then you will lose all reputation and such damage can be irreparable. Other than damaging your reputation, you will also lose the confidence of your existing customers and it will also be extremely difficult to gain the confidence of new customers. Soon you will find your business struggling with no customers, no sales and before you know it, you are out of business.
If the breach to your systems occurred as a result of your or one of your employees neglecting to implement and meet the security measures and standards threshold, the legal liabilities that can follow will do more damage than the cyber hacking had done. The only option your business has is to put all the security measures necessary to prevent an attack from ever happening. Keeping your customers personal and financial information should be your number one priority when implementing security protocol. A breach can have your customers sue you and also the state can sue you for neglect. You stand for case penalties and fines from the litigation. If your business is small or medium sized there is a high probability that it will not stand the penalties arising from the litigation. It can only mean that the business will be crippled and soon the business will go under.
Once your business has been breached, you will have to halt all other operations to address the hack. You will have no revenue not mentioning additional costs that will follow. For instance, you will have to invest time and resources investigate how the breach happened and to come up with a remedy. You will also be forced to hire system auditors, developers, security specialists, penetration testers among others. These are people who were not in the financial plan or even the business plan for the year. If you did not have an emergency kitty then these costs will take a heavy toll on the business.
Cybercrime is on the rise and it is focusing big and small businesses alike. A business especially small one cannot afford to sit back and take the risk. Online business involves collecting sensitive data information from your customers; you have a duty and responsibility to ensure that their data is protected and free from unauthorized access. To avoid being a victim you need to put in preventive measures in place, these measures should provide defense for when an attack comes. The damage that comes after a breach is irreparable, to say the least. You have a duty to protect and preserve your customers’ information personal, sensitive and otherwise.