An unsecured network is an open door for hackers and cyber criminals. For a business, this can be a perilous situation; there can be enormous financial implications, with some companies losing a lot of money and, in some instances, being forced out of business. At the very least, a significant data breach can lead to the loss of customer information, financial and personal details and sensitive, business critical information – even trade secrets! Downtime, bad press and customers losing faith in your brand can be some of the difficult resulting issues. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the most important areas on which to focus your cyber security efforts.

Data loss can put you out of business

Regardless of the size of your business you are not immune from the often devastating effects of significant data loss events. Cyber attacks and malware can be incredibly disruptive and some attacks are designed to steal or destroy business critical data. After a significant data loss, 60% of businesses which rely on data to operate will be out of business within 12 months. Preventative maintenance is always a more cost effective strategy than patching up problems after the event and this mantra is equally true of network security so always make sure you have prioritized accordingly.

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Online fraud is rampant

You may have heard the cyber security buzzword: phishing, and wondered exactly what it is and how it might threaten the integrity of your business’s digital security (and the security of your customers). Phishing is a nefarious email that, on the surface, might appear to be from a reputable source but in fact is a cyber-crook in disguise. Quite often these emails will direct the unsuspecting recipient to a carbon copy of a website they may already know and trust, only to be a tactic designed expressly to harvest personal and financial details that can be sold onwards on the black market. These emails can be very convincing and can often be written to appear as though the author holds a significant company position; this is known as CEO fraud, and relies on our intrinsic trust of reputable positions to garner our private data. The irony, of course, is that once a customer has been subjected to such a crime, their trust in the business they perceive to have been complicit (perhaps by their negligence) diminishes.

Hard earned reputations can be tarnished

If the personnel within your organization have their identities hijacked and this is used to steal company data or to fraudulently acquire customer details then your brand is at risk of significant online reputation damage.

Reputations are built over a long period and represent the relationship you have built with your customer base. Online fraud can disrupt this competitive advantage overnight, leaving the unprepared business vulnerable to costly damage limitation exercises and lost revenue.

Don’t compromise on network security, ensure that you have bulletproof strategies in place to keep your data, your customers and your brand reputation safe from the fraudsters.