How Online Security Influences Reputability of your Business
Online security is a burning issue these days when even the biggest and the richest companies in the world are not able to provide their users with enough online security. We all remember data breaches which made public some really sensitive data and which happened to some of the biggest names in today’s business world. Even government agencies cannot prevent these and they end up leaking all kinds of data to hackers and other attackers.
When it comes to businesses, one of the most prominent consequences of these data breaches and online security failures is that they lose reputation. To put things simple, people lose trust in companies that cannot prevent online security breaches.
The Biggest Cases
Over the course of the last decade or so, we have seen a number of data breaches that have affected some of the most powerful companies in the world. By far the largest was a data breach which lasted for 7 years, between 2005 and 2012 where a group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers got access to the data belonging to a number of banks and companies, stealing 160 million debit and credit card numbers. eBay suffered a similar fate in 2014, when 145 million records of theirs were accessed. Sony, JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot and Target are just some of the names which also suffered catastrophic data breaches.
The situation is even more problematic when small to medium businesses are concerned. It is estimated that more than 60% of all data breaches and hacker attacks target these types of businesses because they are not protected enough and can still hold very valuable information and data. The biggest problem assessing these is that many such businesses do not even report these attacks and breaches because they are afraid they will lose reputation.
The reputation of a company whose cyber space has been breached definitely goes down. For one, their clients/customers stop trusting them with their data and it is impossible for them to run their business this way. They also start coming off as people who are careless and when you are trying to cultivate an image of a successful, strong company, this is not a good thing. Quite often, there is the danger of identity theft following these attacks and breaches and many people agree that this is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. If a company is responsible for this, you are going to spread bad news about them wherever you go.
What Kind of Breaches Are There?
There are quite a few ways in which small businesses can be attacked by various groups or individuals. For instance, there are hacker groups which work in association with organized crime and who are only looking for financial gain. They will stop at nothing to gain access to your most sensitive data, including using malware, stealing computers and devices, hacking into company terminals, etc.
Some attackers might come from the inside, using an employee that works for you whom you might have fired or who has some other reason to harm your company. There are also those attackers who do this for some ideological reasons.
It is important to remember, however, that this is not only about getting your data stolen. Some people may decide to hack your social media accounts and send all kinds of messages and material that can ruin your reputation. They might also hack your website, post controversial material and further ruin your reputation. They might intercept online correspondence with your partners or clients and get valuable information that way as well.
What Can You Do?
The good news is that there are quite a few things that you can do. You can, for one, keep all your antiviral software up to date at all times and make sure that your updates are always installed. You can also hire an outside IT company to handle your online security for you. When you are doing this, please make sure that they use high quality and secured remote access software that has been additionally strengthened.
If something does happen, you need to know how to control the damage. Make sure to inform your clients that a breach has happened and that their data may have been compromised. Also, inform the police and see what they can do about this. It is much better to come clean than to try to hide events like this.