Every business operating today makes use of IT, but it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, it wasn’t until the 21st century that having a good, fully functioning IT system became the norm. Most of us can still remember the good old pen and paper days before we were able to keep all of our records electronically and search through them digitally. For some businesses, this simple ability made an unfathomable difference in terms of speed and efficiency.
Now that most businesses are holding large amounts of important corporate and personal data on their internal IT systems, the issue of keeping that data secure is a prominent concern. Over the last decade or so, we have seen a number of very high profile and very embarrassing hacks against corporate entities, which have resulted in large swathes of personal data being compromised.
The importance of cybersecurity should now be apparent to all, and yet companies continue to run afoul of outdated systems and poor practices. In this article, we go through a few of the main reasons that you should take the time to invest properly in your IT security.
You are Liable for Breaches
Big data breaches and the resulting loss of extensive personal records don’t just make your business look bad; they also open you up to litigation as you are legally responsible for ensuring that any data you hold is kept safe. The data protection act is a piece of legislation that any business holding personal records needs to be aware of. The potential fines you can face are huge, but they pale in comparison to the damages that could be awarded in a class action suit.
Not only are you legally and financially liable for these breaches, but if you show yourself to be careless with your customer’s data then you will suffer significant damage to your reputation and trustworthiness, this can come back to haunt you in a number of ways. Do not underestimate the power of public perception.
If you are in any doubt as to your business’s ability to comply with the relevant legislation, then you should look at outsourcing your IT security needs.
Take Advantage of Competitors Who Don’t Pay Attention to Security
If any of your competitors find themselves the victims of a data breach, by being the one company that was able to keep their user’s data safe, you are offering a great incentive for customers who are security conscious to switch over to you. Businesses who don’t look after their customer’s data are often viewed as untrustworthy. How badly affected they will be depends largely on the type of data that they are holding. People aren’t going to be too worried if their names and e-mail addresses are stolen in an attack, but if there are also credit cards in play, then the breach takes on a new level of seriousness.
It’s Good Practice
Maintaining good IT security in your business is a good idea, if for no reason other than it encourages your staff to think from a security perspective at all times. It shouldn’t just be your IT department that is thinking about keeping the data that you hold safe. The more awareness there is among your staff and among different departments, the easier it will be to maintain good standards.