Did you know that the Equifax data breach in 2017 affected over 140 million customers? It also resulted in:

That is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the idea: Prevention is still better than a cure – and a great deal less expensive.

Your business can avert such a disaster if you keep updating your online protection measures. You see, threats are evolving and are getting more sophisticated. Attacks are also happening more often.

Besides, while automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud solutions are helping to propel organisations forward, the very same innovations at this moment are also in the hands of cyber criminals.

The best time, then, for a cyber security maturity strategy is neither yesterday nor today, but constantly.

Why You Should Invest in Cyber Protection

A business that regularly invests in cyber protection has clear edge over their competition. Some of the biggest returns you can get from investing in a cyber security program are:

1. Reduced risk of cyber attacks

With the rise of cloud technologies, remote work, and bring your own device (BYOD) policies, the surface for potential cyber-attacks has also expanded. A strong cyber security investment plan helps protect your critical business data across these diverse interfaces, ensuring the security of your digital workspace.

An Australian business has a 30% chance of suffering a data breach. With a data protection strategy, that probability goes down significantly, just as money in the bank is usually safer than money in your pocket.

2. Improved customer confidence

Digitalisation leaves online customers with little choice but to entrust their personal or financial data to businesses. When you invest in keeping their information safe, you are telling customers that you care about them.

Demonstrating your commitment to safeguarding customer information fosters customer loyalty and satisfaction. It can be as simple as using a secure payment gateway, implementing two-factor authentication, or regularly backing up your data.

3. Increased employee productivity

“A modern approach to cybersecurity, with tools that have built-in protection, makes it easier for your employees to work together, from anywhere,” said Siân John, Microsoft EMEA Director for Cybersecurity Strategy.

Better productivity can be achieved when a business adopts the best security practices, prioritises employee cyber security training, and makes cyber security simple for employees.

While cyber threats can demoralise your workforce and create an environment of uncertainty, a sound cyber security framework empowers employees with safe tools and systems, leading to increased productivity and improved morale.

4. Enhanced compliance with regulations

Regulatory bodies enforce strict standards for data privacy and security, with hefty penalties for non-compliance. For a business that successfully breeds a security-conscious culture, online protection practices become second nature and compliance is not a major issue. By adhering to regulations through a comprehensive cyber security investment, your business can easily avoid legal troubles and financial penalties.

5. Reduced risk of business disruption

A cyber-attack can cause maximum impact to your business operations. It can result in significant downtime, affecting productivity, revenues, and customer relationships. Protecting your business against such disruption is critical to maintaining a consistent operation.

You can minimise the risk of disruptions by implementing proactive monitoring systems and incident response plans. Identifying and mitigating potential threats in advance can avert significant harm. By being cyber ready, you can ensure business continuity even in the face of threats.

6. Improved brand reputation

When you invest in cyber security, you are investing in your brand. Customers do not simply buy products or services. They are paying for the idea that your business can be trusted to deliver and meet their expectations.

You can showcase your commitment to security and privacy when you have a robust cyber security infrastructure. This can enhance your brand’s reputation and distinguish you from competitors, attracting more clients and partnerships. Otherwise, even a strong brand reputation that took years to build can be tarnished in an instant by a single cyber incident.

7. Increased market share and revenues

As customers increasingly prioritise data security, your cyber security investment could translate into a larger market share and increased revenues.

Customers are becoming more discerning when choosing which businesses to engage with. They are increasingly valuing security as a determining factor. By highlighting your commitment to shielding them against cyber risks, you can attract more security-conscious customers.

8. Lower insurance premiums

Insurance providers use different factors to assess the risk of a business. These can include your business size, your industry, the amount of sensitive data you keep, and the security measures you have in place.

The level of risk associated with your business is a strong factor in determining your premiums. If you have strong cyber security measures in place, your business can be seen as less risky, and you can most probably negotiate lower insurance premiums.

9. Avoid financial costs and losses

The financial impact of a cyber-attack— from operational downtime to regulatory penalties— can be crippling. Aside from the direct costs of the attack, such as the cost of restoring data and systems, businesses can also face indirect costs, such as lost revenue, customer churn, and damage to reputation.

An upfront investment in cyber security is a proactive measure to avert such costs. When you have firewalls, intrusion detection systems, employee training, and a business continuity plan, your business can reduce the risk of a cyberattack and the financial impact of an attack if it does occur.

10. Increased shareholder value

A cyber-attack can lead stock prices to plummet, as shown in the Equifax hack. This can be a combined effect of a loss of customer data, financial losses, damage to the company’s reputation, and investors losing confidence in the company.

Protecting against cyber-attacks can reassure investors and thus increase shareholder value. A company that is taking steps to protect itself from cyber-attacks, can look forward to higher stock prices and increased shareholder value.

Cyber Security Investment

Online protection is a continuing concern because cyber threats keep evolving, attacks are unrelenting, and social engineering has become commonplace. Every business that uses the internet should invest in continually advancing cyber security measures, including:

  • Endpoint security
  • Network security
  • Data security
  • Cloud security
  • Application security

But where do you begin?

How to Start Improving Your Cyber Protection

“The majority of what has to happen is a transition of thinking: Security has to be an embedded piece, it can’t be an afterthought. A paradigm shift has to happen,” said Shawn Eftink, senior director analyst for emerging technologies and trends at Gartner.

That is why investing your time learning about cyber security, like reading this article, is a very good start. Other helpful materials are available at our Resources Centre.

You can also turn to IT security consultants. Cyber experts on your team provides you with top-level capability to identify and mitigate risks, having up-to-date cyber threat information.

Tapping the services of a cyber security service provider will allow you to focus on your core business functions, while professionals take care of keeping your business safe against cyber threats. Because tech consultants are not emotionally invested in your business, they can also provide more objective advice and recommendations, helping you make unbiased security decisions.

If you are serious about investing in shielding your business against cyber-attacks, consider working with a cyber security solutions provider. At Future IT Services, we can help you implement a comprehensive security program to protect your data, systems, and employees. Enquire with us via 07 4058 5700, support@futurecomputers.com.au, or by sending us a message today.