The early stages of a business are often the most challenging when it comes to financial decision-making. There are several items considered essential for any company. The key strategy in this period is prioritization but it can be easy to look the other way if we don’t fully comprehend the impact of each investment. While we know cyber security is important, do we understand the long-term benefits of establishing strong information assurance?
In an era where cybercrime is a new norm, the successful enforcement of your information assurance policy would determine your company’s edge over the competition. Here’s the bigger picture of how it protects your firm.
1.) It prevents brand fraud
As a business, placing your name, your logo and other information already puts you at risk of having your identity stolen by online scammers who can also target your customers. You can find pages imitating different brands, selling counterfeit items, and advertising fabricated promotions to divert people’s info and money to them.
In 2015, it was estimated that 3.8 million people in England and Wales alone were victims of online fraud. The two most popular methods used were sending viruses through emails and hacking social media accounts. A possible way to prevent this would be to limit your online presence but this comes with greater loss than gain. Can you afford to not be on social media when 74% of consumers refer to them in buying decisions?
2.) It protects your customers from identity theft
One popular method of fraud are phishing scams wherein the information thief sets up a page with a company’s logo and same visual branding to entice customers to enter sensitive details. A false login page would give them the username and passwords. 66% of consumers received “phishing emails” with the promise of winnings or other substantial monetary reward in 2015.
56% of businesses claimed that phishing attacks were the most prominent danger they faced online. Do you know if any of your customers have become part of this year’s statistics or come close to it?
3.) It protects the brand’s reputation
Unfortunately, 87% of consumers also believe that it’s the companies’ responsibility to safeguard their information from such attacks. Customers hold businesses liable for how their data is used, even if the information didn’t come directly from your company.
73% of consumers see a company’s ability to protect their personal details as the factor to make or break their trust. Getting strong information assurance and security would protect your customers and reflect on the firm’s sense of accountability. Some mistake growth as a business’ number one goal but it’s sustainable longevity which relies heavily on its credibility.
4.) It prevents possible lawsuits
TriSummit Bank was sued by TEC Industrial, a maintenance and construction company when hackers stole more than $300,000 from the firm’s account. A litigation robs a business out of its long-built consumer trust, drain finances, hinder potential business, and, in the worst-case scenario, shut it down.
A third of small businesses are faced with either lawsuits or threatened by them. Management can become distracted and lose focus which negatively impacts operations. It saps employee morale and increase turnover rates. In other words, a case is the most harmful distraction for a small/medium business (SMB) from spending time, energy and resources delivering value to the customers.
5.) It prevents financial losses
Maintaining customer trust is what gives a company optimal growth. Loyal consumers can increase profit by as much as 25%-80%. Losing reliability would be counterproductive in to any progress already made and increase difficulty for expanding in the future.
Cyberattacks, though, can be enough to cripple a firm. A company can lose as much as $5 million in a single ransomware attack. A sum like that easily puts an SMB out of business, caused by a single email releasing a malicious virus that hijacks company files.
Firms have learned from past events and have improved a great deal, taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Companies now spend more on best practices and compliance mandates, the top drivers for IT spending. Where does your company stand now in cybersecurity? How does it rank against your competitors? Securing quality information assurance early on would shape your business’ future.