6 Ways Poor Cybersecurity Hurts Businesses

Cybersecurity is more than a buzzword today, and that’s for a good reason. Failing to have adequate cybersecurity measures could harm your business in ways you don’t expect. Here are six examples:

Poor Security Has a Broad and Adverse Effect on Clients and Markets

Your initial impression may be that weak cybersecurity only affects your organization. But, the Financial Conduct Authority looked at the impact of poor cybersecurity of businesses in the United Kingdom and found that while a lack in cybersecurity was problematic for an organization, it also impacted the organization’s customers and the wider markets. The consequences could be especially severe, the FCA discovered, if the cybersecurity shortcomings extended to the board of directors or a management committee.

Companies can steer clear of this fault by taking a top-down approach to cybersecurity. For example, an organization’s cybersecurity leader could get into a routine of meeting with a company’s board every week and giving them the details they need to know to make well-informed business decisions.

It Could Make You Lose Customers

Data breaches are unfortunately common subjects of today’s headlines. We have grown so used to hearing about breaches that we’re no longer surprised when they happen. However, that doesn’t mean we feel resigned and believe we can’t do anything in response. Research from Gemalto found that 70% of customers would stop doing business with a company after a data breach.

You’ve probably heard about the potentially adverse effects of bad customer service experiences on a company’s profits. But, that research indicates cybersecurity shortcomings could also make people do business with different organizations. Stop cybersecurity breaches from happening by employing the best practices for protection and, if they do occur, taking prompt action by honestly disclosing the specifics.

It May Compromise Your Inventory Management

Think about the number of apps and computers you likely use to keep track of inventory. Having an ability to monitor your stock helps you perform myriad tasks, such as knowing when to reorder products from your supplier and understanding which items are most popular among your customers.

Proper cybersecurity is a must for excellent inventory management. For example, use an inventory management software based on a barcode system. It strengthens security and reduces the likelihood of errors that could result from a manual system. That means it’s essential to take a holistic view of cybersecurity and see its relation to your inventory.

It Could Reduce Your Resources for Growth

A cybersecurity issue could cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, depending on its severity and the process you have to go through to recover. For example, ransomware is growing in popularity among cybercriminals, who lock down access to your files unless you pay a defined ransom. Then, even if you decide to pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee of getting the data restored.

It’s easy to understand that if you have to deplete your resources to restore operations after a cyberattack, you’ll be less able to pursue other things that support the overall prosperity of your business. Try to adopt a “not if but when” mindset regarding your cybersecurity. You cannot merely assume that hackers won’t target your company. Put preventative measures in place so they won’t be successful.

It Could Shutter Your Business

A cybersecurity incident could leave you unable to access customer data or take care of other essential parts of operations. Certain hospitals, after being attacked, have had to send patients elsewhere or delay non-urgent treatments. Cybersecurity problems can be so damaging that they force companies out of business.

If you are a small business without a large staff, dealing with the aftermath of a data breach could become so time-intensive that it’s not possible to remain open as usual during the recovery period. A short-term closure that impacts your profits could become necessary.

Having a crisis response plan in place is one of the best ways to limit the likelihood of having to close down after a hack. Then, you’ll be able to move into action instead of being overwhelmed.

It Could Put Your Organization at Risk for Regulatory Fines

There is a growing list of companies that have either been fined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or are being investigated for possible penalties. The fines vary depending on the extent of the infraction, and some have been the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If your company interacts with customers within a country operating under the GDPR and you don’t have proper cybersecurity measures in place, you could be fined by the respective privacy regulator after a data breach happens.

Also, even if you don’t do business in a country that’s bound by the GDPR, keep in mind that other privacy regulations are coming down the pipeline soon. One of them is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect in 2020.

It’s ideal to remain educated about what your company needs to do to stay in compliance with any existing or upcoming privacy regulations. Keeping your knowledge current should cut down on the chances of a fine. Also, research to see whether there are special privacy precautions for your industry. For example, the banking industry has specific rules for handling data, and the same is true for companies that process payments.

Insufficient Cybersecurity Is a Costly Problem

This list highlights why you truly cannot accord to ignore the need to deploy a cybersecurity plan at your company. Modern hackers are incredibly skilled at orchestrating large-scale hacks and finding their next victims. Companies with numerous vulnerabilities and little to no protection in place are among their favorite targets.

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Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about cybersecurity, data privacy and technology for Digital Trends, Cloud Tweaks, TechnoBuffalo and The Daily Dot. To read more of Kayla’s articles, visit her blog Productivity Bytes.

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