The kind of value that data brings to the table as a business asset cannot be gainsaid – it is like oil to the profit engine of your business. Utilizing the right type of data can not only give your business a competitive edge but also help you earn the trust of your customers. Which begs the question: why would 70% of companies, according to Inc, fail to have elaborate and fool-proof data security plan to protect this asset?
Data is only beneficial if it is in the right hands. If your company’s data falls in the hands of cyber criminals and spiteful competitors, then there is no telling the level of damage that this carelessness can lead to. All you should do is work out ways, with the help of your IT department, to cover any loopholes that could lead to the misappropriation of this data.
Here are four reasons why you should work overtime investing in data security:
Protect Your Reputation
The business world is fully constructed on trust – you trust that clients will offset the necessary invoices while customers trust that their data will be safe once they offer it to you. However small a data leak might be, it can lead to a decrease in the level of trust that your clients have for your business. For instance, the recent data breach that affected Equifax, one of the largest credit bureaus in the U.S., led to customers feeling untrustworthy of the business.
What’s even worse is that a small incidence of mistrust with your market can be tough to recover from and has the potential to last for years. Furthermore, the stolen data might put your clients at risk in case the cybercriminals use them for identity theft situations. Think of data protection for startups and business as a proactive measure to win your customer’s trust.
Comply With Regulations
Regardless of whether you work in a highly regulated industry or not, certain data security regulations will still apply to your business. For instance, data security is critical in the medical industry along with other industries. On the other hand, some regulations, such as GDPR in the EU are strict when it comes to data protection and privacy.
In case you cannot comply with the expectations, your business will barely survive in that industry or region. Furthermore, there are hefty fines for businesses that fail to comply. For businesses that work in international markets, complying with accepted standards will improve your credibility as other clients will also see your company as a reputable one.
The Loss of Business Secrets
Business secrets will set you apart from your competitors and often give you a competitive edge. For instance, in case you have patented an invention whose details you have managed to confine within your business walls, a data breach can uncover your best-kept secret.
This could be detrimental to your company, where the data to fall into the hands of the competition. It will not only provide competitors with insights on how you perfected your craft but also help them look for ways to counter your best moves.
Data Breaches Are Expensive
Fines are not the only financial consequences that you will have to come to terms within the onset of a data breach. If the breach is big enough, it will most likely cripple operational activities in your business. This reduced workflow as you try to remedy the situation means huge losses for your business, which can set you back months behind in achieving your goals.
Furthermore, you will still have to invest in a strategy for disaster recovery whose cost depends on the damage that was caused by the breach. Perhaps the biggest cost is the lost reliability of your business.
While data security might look like an unnecessary business cost, it has a pivotal role to play. Data will forever be a valuable asset and you can best benefit from it if it is secured. Leverage the most recent data security technologies to be on the frontline of the cybersecurity battle.