No business would be foolish enough to leave their premises unprotected, and every company understands the importance of security such as CCTV, locks, alarms and the rest. But what many businesses are less stringent on is their cyber security – an area that very few companies invest the same kind of time or money into.
On the face of it this might seem like a logical stance to take. After all, having someone physically break into your property would cause much more damage than anything that could be prevented by cyber security right? And surely you’re more likely to encounter instances of the former right?
Wrong and wrong. Read on to find out why cyber security is actually the most important form of security, and why you should be prioritizing it right now.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that you’re actually much more vulnerable to cyber threats than you are to physical trespassers. You don’t feel that way because this is only recently the case, and because physical burglary is still more widely reported – but it is the reality nevertheless. The point is that it’s much easier to hack into a computer and far less risky than it is to break into a building and attempt a physical theft. When you attack a computer there is no physical threat to your well being, there is no chance of getting caught ‘red handed’ and you won’t be likely to encounter CCTV or other obstacles.
At the same time, cyber theft is something you can do from your front room. Someone doesn’t even need to leave the house in order to pose a threat to you and they don’t even need to be in the same country. It can happen at any time of day, and it can happen in a myriad of different ways. In short, you’re highly exposed if you haven’t invested in cyber security. You’re a sitting duck for criminals all around the world.
And what’s motivating these criminals is the high chance of reward (unless they’re one of the simply malicious types). The reality is that as business becomes ever more digital, it is actually potentially far more lucrative for a criminal to hack into your network, carry out a phishing spam, or install spyware on your computer than it is for them to break in. Let’s face it, few companies have cash lying around on their desks and a bunch of printers, computers and furniture is only going to fetch so much.
On the other hand, with access to all your company’s files and private data, a cyber criminal could potentially empty your accounts overnight. Or alternatively syphon off small amounts of money that you never notice but that drastically affect your profits. They could steal and sell your contacts list without you even being aware (and this would seriously damage your reputation if it ever got out) and they could get the card details and addresses of every one of your clients. It’s important to remember here that your computers won’t just store information that’s critical to your business – they’ll also have information that’s highly sensitive for your clients and customers making it your moral obligation to look into cyber security.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Hackers could steal your intellectual property, they could sell trade secrets as a form of industrial espionage or they could simply wipe your data. Think about it seriously: if you had to lose everything on all your computers, or everything in your office, which would you choose?
Hopefully this article will have shown you just how crucial cyber security is, and as such you’ll probably be asking yourself whether you’ve really done enough to protect your data. So in that case, here are some places to start.
There is a whole range of software available to help you keep your computer safe from potential hacks and free of malicious spyware. Investing in this and keeping it up to date is your first line of defense against most forms of attack.
Encrypting files, passwords and bank details is an important precaution to take whenever you accept a payment or someone logs into your site. It’s in transit that your data is most vulnerable, so make sure that it’s not as easy as just plucking it out of the air.
One of the best ways to protect your property with regular security is to shut the doors and windows when you’re not in the room. Simple but effective. Likewise, simple commonsense policies in the office (such as not opening e-mail attachments and using smart passwords) can make a huge difference to your cyber security.
Consultation: Without knowing the specifics of your business, this article can only provide so much advice. To ensure that you’re completely safe then and aren’t missing any tricks, make sure you speak with a professional and have a great strategy in place to keep your information safe.