Businesses understand the importance of security. They lock their doors, install alarms, and hire security guards. Unfortunately, too many of them don’t give their data security the same priority as their physical security. They underestimate both their risk of becoming a data breach victim and its consequences to their business.
All businesses, large or small, are at risk. Hackers employ software as well as search engines to locate businesses with exploitable data security weaknesses. If your business has such a weakness, then it’s not a question of if, but when they will find you.
Criminals aren’t limited to online methods of getting to your data. They’ll use offline techniques as simple as searching through dumpsters for discarded equipment with hard drives. It’s important to remember that data security is both an online and offline effort. Equally important is understanding that the consequences of poor data security can be severe:
Businesses that keep sensitive customer or patient information must meet certain government requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements cause security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. This is why data breaches often get the attention of the government, which may conduct an audit of the victimized business. If any type of non compliance is found, the business may have to pay severe fines.
This is especially damaging for a number of reasons. Existing customers will lose faith in the company’s ability to protect their information, and will never come back. Word about a data breach can rapidly spread via social media and review sites. This diminishes the company’s business prospects of attracting future customers. Business partners such as suppliers and distributors will have similar concerns and may terminate their association with the affected company. Investors may withdraw their support.
Going out of Business
A hacker can do more than merely exploit sensitive data. The person may delete the information, install a crippling virus, or cause other kinds of problems that get in the way of conducting business. If this happens during a time of peak customer demand, the loss of revenue can be devastating. Customer lawsuits and the above mentioned problems could be sufficient to force the company to permanently close its doors.
A data breach can happen to any business regardless of its size. You can avoid potentially devastating consequences by making data security your number one priority. Protect yourself from cyber crime in all its forms, including data theft from your discarded hard drives. For more information about data security and about our hard drive destroyer devices, contact us today.