It seems there’s a new cybersecurity scare every week. With a growing number of corporate entities falling foul of hackers, c-suite executives must be questioning whether your business network is at risk of a data breach.
The latest company to take a hit is the Japanese car giant, Toyota. Reports reveal the globally-known automobile company reported that the sensitive data of almost 300,000 customers were compromised in the attack.
Phishing scams and ransomware attacks are the preferred methods used by hackers. More recently, bad actors have found alternative ways to infiltrate business networks through Microsoft Team chats.
It is reported that cybersecurity solutions are effective. But with household names falling prey to malicious threats every week, it should be questioned whether any company is really safe.
And that calls into question data privacy laws such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that hinder companies more than they help consumers.
As a consumer, you are probably still receiving spam emails to your personal account even though the companies you are registered with have not been breached. So why is that still happening if businesses are forbidden to sell your data to third-party vendors?
How much will your business lose after a data breach?
Data privacy laws state that businesses that collect, manage and process personal data have a legal obligation to protect consumer data held on file. Failing to keep sensitive data secure – and out of the hands of hackers – means a business will incur a penalty determined by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
However, it’s not the fine that damages a business. It’s the damage to your reputation that causes a business to fold. The reason for that is because regulations state businesses have to report a data breach to all affected parties.
ICO penalties account for 2% of a company’s annual turnover. This can be further reduced if a business can show they took positive steps to reduce the risk of a data breach. After all, hackers are always one step ahead and will find a way in. And there may be nothing IT teams can do about that.
Yet 60% of businesses fold within six months of a data breach because they lose their customers. One survey reveals that 81% of consumers say they would stop engaging with a brand online following a data breach.
The statistics show that government legislation poses more of a threat to businesses than malicious actors. Businesses rely on a reputation to grow and survive. When a brand’s reputation is tarnished, it’s extremely difficult to recover.
On the flip side, large corporations usually blame successful attacks on “state-sponsored” hacker groups. That means the best hackers are only attacking corporations.
By the time the latest techniques reach mainstream hackers, cybersecurity firms have effective solutions that prevent a data breach. And mainstream hackers target small businesses because they are easier to breach.
So yes, your small business is at risk of a data breach, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on cybersecurity. And you probably don’t have to worry that much about suffering a data breach either.