Cyber criminals pose a huge threat to businesses of all sizes – yet few are taking real action to stop them damaging or stealing their data. A data breach or cyber-attack can have a number of repercussions including loss of productivity, large fines and a negative brand image. If the public can’t trust you to keep their personal data safe, they’re unlikely to do business with you.

So it’s time to ask yourself the question: how much does your business value its data? This comprises business data, employee data and customer data, all of which could be high risk sensitive data. If you are scrimping and scraping on security software or claiming you don’t have the time for backing up data, then you don’t value your data as much as you should.

Consequences of data breach or data loss

If your system is compromised, in the best case scenario a cyber-criminal can steal or replicate all of your data. It can then be sold on, allowing people to misuse the personal information to access private accounts or steal identities. If you’re hit with a ransomware attack, you’ll find that your data is effectively held hostage. Businesses are given a ransom demand and the data isn’t returned until it is paid – but of course there is no guarantee that the data will be released once you’ve coughed up the amount.

In the worst case scenario, you could experience total data loss. You will still have the risk of important data being stolen and used for criminal activity, and the business will also need to replace ALL data. At this stage if you haven’t got effective back-ups in place, it is too late and business operations will be on hold.

The financial implications of a data breach can be enough to close down a company completely. The 2017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million. In addition to the direct costs, you must also consider the damage to brand reputation and loss of future sales.

Increasing data security before GDPR

Next year, a set of EU regulations come into force to try and tackle 21st century data security. The GDPR will affect all UK organisations, and enforces and updates current laws to ensure companies are taking the risk of cybercrime seriously. Any organisation which suffers a data breach through negligence or non-compliance can be fined up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s annual turnover.

Speak to our IT security experts at Pink Chalk today to find out how to increase your data security.