This is the 5th and final article in the series titled 5 IT Risks That Could Cripple Your Business: How to Mitigate Them. To recap, the other 4 risks are:
#5 – Lack of Alignment between IT and Business Teams
#4 – Finding and Retaining Skilled IT Personnel
#3 – Outdated Systems and Processes
#2 – Data Management and Data Quality Issues
Please refer to the blog article for more information. Just about everything we do is monitored by someone these days. From cameras that watch over cities or watch our homes to smart cell phones that monitor every aspect of our lives to even TVs and other devices with smart technology that seem to be listening to our private conversations. That is a way of life today. That means there is a far greater chance that information collected will get into the wrong hands. That is why Cyber Security is the biggest risk to every business, every individual and every nation. The risk is huge, far greater than you may realize. However, in this article I will focus on the impact on businesses. So why is Cyber Security the biggest risk to any business, large or small.
Today, everyone is connected to the internet. Would be hard to imagine almost any business functioning these days without having an online presence. This has changed the landscape of doing business in many ways, good and bad, but one of the best being that a business can almost instantly interact with potential customers. However, the downside of that is it can lead to cyber-attacks. It used to be that only employees of a business had insider access to business information. Today, competitors and cyber criminals potentially have access to data. This has forced companies to go to great lengths to protect against threats. Another reason why Cyber Security is the biggest risk to companies is because there is no other risk that can potentially put you out of business within months of a breach.
Why Cyber Security is the Biggest Risk to Business:
We all know that technology drives business. That is why a company like Uber has rebranded itself as a technology company. But the reliance on technology also has the downside of making businesses more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It happens so often these days that it is difficult to keep up. No one is safe. It happens to businesses of all sizes, in the public and private sector. For example, recently, Russian hackers breached 632,000 email addresses of DOJ and Pentagon officials. In the private sector, popular password manager application LastPass had a large hack costing millions a month ago.
The impact of cyber-attacks can be devastating to businesses of all sizes. They not only disrupt operations, but also result in financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liability issues.
The risks are wide and deep and constantly evolving. So what are the risks ?
How to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks to Business:
On a nearly weekly basis, there are breaches of well-known organizations. Many of these organizations have all the resources in the world, so it is not easy to protect against all threats. Criminals are finding more unique ways to comprise businesses and individuals. Most of us have probably received an email or other notification from a vendor stating that there was a data breach and some personal information may have been compromised. Some businesses seem to be adopting the mindset, “we will do everything possible to protect against threats. However, nothing is 100%. So if on rare occasions we are compromised, we will make sure the impact is minimal”. Nevertheless, companies can take a number of actions to greatly reduce the chances that a breach will occur and if it does occur, to minimize the impact. One of the most promising things is that these actions can be implemented by small businesses as well as large ones.
In closing, Cybersecurity risks are a serious threat to businesses of all sizes. By being aware of the key risks, taking steps to mitigate them and remaining proactive, businesses can protect themselves from costly and disruptive breaches.