Most managers would consider a robust cybersecurity plan to be an essential part of business operations. Protecting your trade secrets and your customers’ data is at the core of your responsibilities as a business.
However, many small and medium-sized businesses are content to outsource their cybersecurity or leave it in the hands of an in-house IT professional. This may have been sufficient in the past, but as vulnerabilities multiply, it is becoming essential for all members of staff to have some cybersecurity awareness and training.
If you’re not aware of how exactly your cybersecurity keeps your business safe, it’s time to take a closer look before an intruder tests your system for you.
Here are a few reasons why businesses will put substantial focus and resources towards cybersecurity in 2022.
Ransomware attacks are some of the most serious cyberattacks, and they are becoming more prevalent. Just last year, these attacks increased by over 300%.
During these attacks, hackers take your data hostage and threaten to destroy it or sell it on the dark web. Gaining access to your files requires a ransom payment, which is typically very costly.
Law enforcement doesn’t have the tools to catch many of these digital perpetrators, and dark web data marketplaces have made data theft much more profitable. That means maintaining a strong cybersecurity plan is the only reliable way to prevent an attack. Measures you can take include protecting your hardware, backing up your files regularly (and keeping them off-site) and performing regular cloud penetration testing.
It’s not just hackers that can cost you money or damage your reputation. Governments are taking cybersecurity more seriously by creating new laws that businesses must follow to safeguard customers’ data. A failure to comply can result in fines and legal action.
Data protection regulations, timelines for reporting incidents and required infrastructure safeguards are all changing at a rapid pace, and the standards are different for all industries. In 2022, it won’t be enough for one IT guy to ensure your company meets compliance standards. Management needs to be aware of the changing compliance landscape, and resources need to be allocated to maintaining compliance.
Maintaining compliance will keep you in the clear with the authorities, but your customers are also going to keep a keen eye on your cybersecurity. Breaches hurt consumer trust, and your customers are now less likely to forgive.
There were nearly 1,300 data breaches in 2021, and about 60 million people were affected.
As the public becomes more tech-savvy and conscious of the implications of data breaches, compromised brands have suffered worse consequences in the market.
When Target was the victim of a data breach, consumer trust in the brand fell by over 50% (according to its brand index rating). When the same happened to Uber a few years later, its reputation plummeted by 141%, and it has never recovered.
This loss of trust inevitably affects your bottom line. And at the same time, it requires a big increase in your marketing budget to attempt to heal the damage.
New technology creates new cyber risks, and technology is moving faster than ever. With the rise of cloud computing, 5G and metaverse tech in 2022, businesses will likely focus much of their cybersecurity efforts on securing their networks and software from intruders.
But hackers will also increase their efforts to gain entry via your staff and hardware. Your low-level staff as well as employees that don’t need IT training are easy targets for criminals. They can fall victim to theft of hardware, phishing attacks and deepfakes, in which they freely give away data and passwords.
They may also make mistakes, such as doing business on unsecured devices, simply because they haven’t been informed of the risks.
All of your staff should undergo cyber risk aversion training as a part of your cybersecurity plan. Just one stolen device or a phone call to an unsuspecting secretary can give a criminal free access to your systems.
It may seem like the risks of cyberattack are everywhere. Unfortunately, that’s not far from the truth. Cybercrime is growing rapidly and law enforcement lags behind. Now is the time to devote more resources to cybersecurity and compliance.
Once you’ve developed a comprehensive plan, you must maintain its effectiveness with regular updates and testing. Your IT specialists can maintain the security of your system internally. It’s also important to invest in third-party penetration testing at least once per year.
Finally, don’t forget to develop a robust cybersecurity policy for your staff.