Why is cybersecurity in business management a key issue facing modern businesses when many areas of business require careful attention? Because no aspect of business management is more relevant in today’s day and age than cybersecurity as it impacts consumer trust and your ability to operate your business even. This is because cybersecurity is a huge and growing issue, with cyberattacks being the biggest threat to modern-day companies. High profile security breaches at some of the largest companies, like Target, ransomware that cripples cities and hospitals by locking away their data unless a ransom is paid to unlock it, and even evidence that hackers were able to access US voting machines demonstrate the pervasive nature of threats and enhance the need for companies to constantly evaluate, test, and upgrade their cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is likely to become an even bigger problem in the coming years as new threats are continually being developed, and this means that a business owner needs to take steps to protect their company, employees, and customers through the use of high-quality cybersecurity. With this in mind, here are the main reasons why cybersecurity is a crucial aspect of business management that every organization must consider.
Protection from outside threats
The main reason that business management needs to make cybersecurity a priority is due to the fact that it protects the company from outside threats. This protection is not just about protecting individual computers but protecting the entire company, along with customer data, which is why it is so critical and something that must be considered by management.
Failure to protect your company from cyber threats results in damages to customer relationships and erodes customer trust. This can cost your firm millions or billions in lost revenue that stretches into years, especially if you’re a prominent brand and the media will trot out your failure every time there’s another breach. You’ll become the poster child for poor cybersecurity. Plus, you may have to pay millions in fines or to make customers whole, for instance, by paying for credit monitoring to protect them from your data breach.
Increasingly, companies face a more serious cyber threat — ransomware. In recent ransom threats, hackers encrypted access to all your data, including your operating system, your files, and your software. Ransom demands are often modest, in the $100,000s, but losing operational control of your business can also impact customer relationships.
If you accept the argument above, cybersecurity is a business risk, not just impacting your IT function, but threatening the very survival of your business.
Cyber terrorism, after all, that’s what it is, terrorism is a problem that’s much bigger than an IT team can manage because cybercrime has the potential to devastate a business and cause it to fail completely. Even a small breach could lead to downtime, which could cost the company a fortune. Therefore, management needs to find high-quality cybersecurity products, such as the Watchguard firebox, and create a policy that will protect the organization.
Building on a great cybersecurity platform isn’t enough by itself. In addition, it’s vital that every company develop a comprehensive cybersecurity policy that outlines the expected behavior of employees so that they can work safely and comfortably each day.
A cybersecurity policy explains each person’s responsibilities, such as:
- password setting, control, and frequent updates
- awareness of phishing attacks and how to respond to them
- training employees to recognize and avoid attempts to gain access to unauthorized information. This includes other employees who shouldn’t have access to certain data.
- Secure workspaces including always logging out of computers when not actively using them, shredding confidential documents or locking them in a secure location, maintaining control of thumb drives (many businesses no longer allow these devices to ensure data control)
A comprehensive cybersecurity policy and training to ensure employees understand the policy and are encouraged to follow it, is critically important because breaches often occur due to employee negligence. Not only that, but a cybersecurity policy provides security for the business because it shows that there are procedures in place that could offer protection if there is ever a breach and you are facing a penalty.
Protect your brand reputation
Another reason why cybersecurity, or lack thereof, is a problem for management and not an IT or tech team is due to the fact that it can have a direct impact on the reputation and trust of the company, which is critical to success. Modern consumers want evidence that companies are protecting their data, and any company that falls victim to cybercrime does not get much sympathy from the public. Public reputation is hugely important for all businesses, and this means that management needs to be handling all areas relating to this, including cybersecurity.
Every company needs to have a strategy in place for ways in which they can protect the brand and also so that they know what happens in the case of a breach, so they can minimize downtime and keep the company running smoothly and efficiently at all times. This may mean creating frequent data backups in case of ransomware, although that strategy means you have an additional data source to protect.
Cybersecurity is a part of the strategy, which means companies should carefully build security into their processes.
In order to adequately protect your business from outside threats, you must spend some money. This involves investing in high-quality cybersecurity products such as antivirus software, a VPN, and a firewall. These can cost a fair amount of money, but they are also critical for protecting your company, employees, and customers. It is up to management to determine how much money they want to spend on protecting the company from outside threats, and it is an area that will need careful consideration.
Leading from the front
When cybersecurity is a top issue for management, it sets a good example for everyone else in the company and shows that the business is taking security very seriously. This is important for creating an environment where everyone is aware of the threat of cybercrime and knows how they can protect themselves and the business while working online. When it is an issue that is simply handed to an IT team, it can be challenging to keep cybersecurity at the forefront of employee’s thoughts and could lead to sloppiness and, ultimately, a breach.
A growing problem
It is said that cybercrime is the biggest threat to modern-day businesses, and it is an issue that is only getting bigger. As such, cybercrime is a threat to companies of all sizes, in all industries, it needs to be something that is handled from the top so that a company can protect itself now and in the future when there are new, more advanced threats facing the business.
Cybersecurity is a major issue and one which all businesses need to consider. Many companies make the mistake of making this a tech issue handled by an IT team when really it is a business issue that needs to be handled by management.
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