When you consider your business growth plan, do you consider your data security? Many business owners don’t, but data security is in fact essential to business growth.
How are data security and business growth linked?
Finances: Insufficient data security can result in significant financial loss. For example, falling victim to a ransomware attack could have you considering paying cyber criminals for the release of your company data (of course we strongly advise you to reconsider and don’t ever pay the proposed ransom). More certain financial loss would come with hefty fines from the authorities for failing to protect your client’s data.
Productivity: Consider the staff time taken to resolve a cyber attack plus the downtime for any staff whose PC has been affected and you’re looking at some significant disruption to your business.
Reputation: Once word gets out that your data security has been breached, you’re highly unlikely to beat the competition to new business for some time. In fact, studies show that many breached businesses lose more than a fifth of their client base.
Loss of sales: If your business is online and a breach brings your website down, you could be losing revenue by the minute. Not to mention, if Google clocks evidence of a beach or malware relating to your site, you’ll be ‘SEO blacklisted’ and lose your organic ranking completely.
Lost data: Your data could be lost forever if you don’t have an effective backup plan which could set your business growth plans back by years.
60% of small businesses who fall victim to a data security breach are forced to close their doors for good.
So now you can see how your data security directly impacts your business growth. If that’s left you feeling a little uncertain, now would be a good time to review the effectiveness of your IT plan.
But we also have some suggestions of ‘low-hanging fruit’ you can grab to tighten your data security now:
5 data security tools that will encourage business growth.
#1 Email Security
There are two benefits to effective email security. Firstly, spam filtering. Reports have shown that without spam filtering the average employee receives around 60 spam emails every day. The report also established that the reader could take around 16 seconds to decide whether the email is useful or not… this suggests that your team could be spending almost 2 working weeks per year opening spam email – time is money people!
More importantly, however, is the risk of malicious emails. Often used to execute social engineering tactics, malicious emails are popular among cyber criminals as a sure way to distribute damaging malware.
An effective email filtering tool will increase productivity and protect your staff and business from falling victim to malicious content.
#2 Password Manager
These days, we all know passwords should be complex, contain random letters and numbers, stick a special symbol in for good measure; but the trickiest part is remembering these passwords and resisting the temptation to use a one-for-all approach to make life easier.
A password manager will be a saving grace for your staff. This tool can be used individually or shared among a team. It will hold all passwords securely so users only need to remember the one password for the manager to access all other passwords. Forget the office – we all need this tool!
#3 Device Protection
Devices are the gateway to your network. If you’re going to aim for unbeatable data protection (which we all should), it’s vital your devices are protected. This means using sufficient antivirus software, malware protection, AI platforms and device encryption. A multi-pronged approach like this will help prevent your network from being hacked, an attack due to human error, and will even protect your data if a device is stolen.
# 4 Cyber Essentials Accreditation
OK, so it’s not exactly a ‘tool’ but it is THE accreditation to have when you’re looking at data security vs. business growth.
The Cyber Essentials Accreditation assesses your data security model, educates you on any flaws, and guides you through any improvements that need to be made. At the end of the process, not only are you reassured that your data security strategy is tight, but your business has a recognised cyber security stamp of approval which benefits your marketability and growth.
You didn’t think we wouldn’t include this, did you? If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you’ll know we’re a huge advocate of staff cyber awareness training. It’s with good reason; human error was the cause of 54% of cyber attacks on businesses in 2019 and the number continues to climb.
Whether it’s due to pandemic opportunists, an increase in home-working or simply the speed at which technology moves, cyber security training for staff is a new priority for businesses.
Jupiter IT – We Grow So You Can Grow
At Jupiter IT, we’re not just your IT support; we’re your IT partner. We are dedicated to you and your business and offer the training and guidance you need to achieve your business goals.
If you want to be confident your business can move with the times, get in touch today for a no-obligation evaluation of how we can improve your data security and support your IT systems.