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Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. With the rise of technology and increasing connectivity, the threat of cyberattacks has become more prevalent than ever before. In fact, there are 2,220 cyber attacks each day, adding up to more than 800,000 attacks each year.
That works out as a cyber attack every 39 seconds.
The World Economic Forum has also highlighted the growing concern about cybersecurity, stating that cyberattacks are one of the top risks facing businesses in 2024. This was further emphasized at the recent Davos sessions, where experts discussed the need for stronger cybersecurity protocols to protect businesses and economies.
As the CEO of an 8-figure subsidiary of a publicly traded company, tec5USA, I understand the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity measures to protect our proprietary materials while growing our business. Cybersecurity is no longer just a concern for big corporations; small and medium-sized businesses are also at risk. Therefore, it is crucial for every business to have an effective cybersecurity strategy in place.
In this article, I will discuss three key reasons why businesses should prioritize increasing their cybersecurity protocols in 2024.
Related: Why Is Cybersecurity Important for Your Business? Neglecting It Could Be Your Downfall.
1. Protect your business from costly data breaches
According to Accenture, the average cost of a cyber attack for a business is $13 million. This includes not only the financial loss from theft or damage of assets but also the cost of downtime, lost productivity and recovery efforts. These costs can cripple a business, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises that may not have the resources to bounce back quickly from a cyber attack.
According to Google Bard, an AI-generated tool, cyber threats are increasing at an alarming rate. The global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, a significant increase from $3 trillion in 2015.
Furthermore, failure to protect sensitive customer data can result in legal ramifications and damage to your business’s reputation. In today’s digital age, customers are more aware of their privacy rights and expect businesses to handle their data securely. One data breach can lead to a loss of trust from customers and ultimately impact the bottom line. For our client in Silicon Valley dealing in semiconductor manufacturing, it is mandatory.
There is also the prospective litigation cost if you are found to have fallen short of the cybersecurity protocols set out by regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). These regulations set out a number of potential penalties for businesses that fail to protect personal data, including fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher.
Implementing ISO 27001, an internationally recognized standard for information security management systems (ISMS), plays a pivotal role in enhancing cybersecurity within enterprises. By providing a systematic framework for managing information security risks, ISO 27001 assists organizations in safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating potential cyber threats. Central to ISO 27001 is the implementation of a set of controls tailored to address specific security risks faced by the organization. These controls encompass various aspects of information security, including access control, encryption, incident management and business continuity planning.
Through the adoption of ISO 27001 controls, enterprises establish robust mechanisms for protecting their information assets, ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability. By conducting comprehensive risk assessments and implementing appropriate controls, organizations can identify vulnerabilities, proactively address security gaps and strengthen their cybersecurity posture. ISO 27001 fosters a culture of continuous improvement, prompting organizations to regularly review and update their security measures in response to emerging threats and evolving business needs.
It provides a competitive advantage by differentiating the organization as a trusted custodian of sensitive information. Furthermore, ISO 27001 facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and legal obligations, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties and reputational damage.
2. Safeguard your intellectual property
In today’s highly competitive market, intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets a business can possess. Without proper cybersecurity protocols in place, your company’s sensitive data and trade secrets are at risk of being stolen or compromised by cybercriminals. This not only damages your competitive advantage but also puts the future success and growth of your business at stake.
Effective cybersecurity protocols are a prerequisite for high-tech customers in protecting data integrity, and generally for data protection. In our case, working with clients in law enforcement, if you deal with sensitive data, and if it’s construction or high-tech devices related, you need to make sure there are no data leaks out to competition, but also any other areas in the world that might be interested in that technology and want to copy it.
Implementing strong cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, encryption and regular data backups, can help safeguard your intellectual property from cyber attacks. It also gives you a competitive edge by assuring customers and partners that their confidential information is safe.
Related: Cyber Attacks Are On the Rise — Here’s How Your Business Can Continuously Prepare for Threats
3. Ensure business continuity during geopolitical unrest
A cyber attack can bring your business operations to a halt, resulting in significant financial losses and reputational damage. In some cases, businesses may even have to shut down permanently due to the severity of a cyber attack. Therefore, having effective cybersecurity protocols in place is crucial for ensuring business continuity.
The rapid rise in ransomware attacks, where cybercriminals hold a company’s data hostage until a ransom is paid, highlights the importance of being prepared for potential cybersecurity threats.
If you look at the global or geopolitical situation, we have growing tension between the U.S. and China and two wars going on in Ukraine and the Middle East. Whenever wars are happening, there’s an increasing amount of cyber warfare. So the amount of hack attacks, denial of service attacks, viruses and ransomware is growing.
In that environment, it’s almost a necessity to have any kind of quality assurance framework — such as a cybersecurity framework — in this case, protecting you from these threats. It’s become far more vital because of that changing business environment and the growing global threats we have to deal with.
Regularly updating and maintaining your cybersecurity measures can minimize the risk of successful cyber attacks and prevent disruptions to your business operations. This not only prevents potential financial losses but also protects your reputation and maintains customer trust.
Related: 4 Top Cyber Threats Entrepreneurs Need to Know About in 2024
Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and hackers are always finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. This is why it’s essential to continuously update and improve cybersecurity protocols to stay ahead of emerging threats.
It’s predicted that there will be more than 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide in 2024. This means that businesses need to invest in training and hiring cybersecurity professionals to stay ahead of potential threats.
As the CEO of tec5USA, I understand firsthand the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity protocols. By taking proactive measures to protect our business, we can continue to grow and scale without fear of falling victim to a cyber attack. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial for businesses of all sizes to stay vigilant and prioritize cybersecurity in 2024 and beyond!