Cybersecurity has become one of the most important ways for individuals and companies to protect private information. Generally speaking, cybersecurity refers to any policy or product that prevents unauthorized people from accessing electronic data.
The types of security measures you take, however, can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your cybersecurity policies.
Poor Cybersecurity Often Leads to Identity Theft
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 15.4 million consumers in the United States were affected by identity theft in 2016. Cumulatively, these 15.4 million victims lost $16 billion.
Unfortunately, many of these crimes took place because companies didn’t have robust cybersecurity policies to stop hackers from stealing personal information.
In 2015, $15.3 billion was stolen from 13.1 million victims. As hackers become more sophisticated at stealing information, you can expect to see the numbers continue to climb.
Common Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
Cybersecurity attacks come in a variety of forms, including:
- Malware that steals information from computers and networks.
- Password attacks that let unauthorized users access protected accounts.
- Man in the Middle (MITM) thefts that let hackers gather data through non-encrypted wireless access points like cafes and restaurants.
Once an experienced hacker uses one of these methods to steal information from your network, the person can use that data to steal the identities of your customers, clients and employees.
Companies Need Strong Cybersecurity to Protect Their Assets
On average, you can expect a data breach to cost about $117,000 for small and medium-sized businesses. Large enterprises lose $1.3 million on average.
In some cases, hackers steal money directly from companies. In other cases, companies lose money trying to repair their reputations.
Given the large amounts of money at risk, it’s clear that businesses of all sizes need to invest in cybersecurity as a way of protecting their assets. Even if your small business spent $117,000 this year improving its cybersecurity, it’s better than losing money to a criminal and facing a backlash from customers.
Of course, strong cybersecurity measures rarely cost that much. Investing a little money in your technology could give you a tremendous level of protection.
Since criminals often target small and medium-sized businesses, you should talk to a security specialist to learn more about ways that you can protect your company. Without the proper protection, someone will eventually take advantage of your antiquated security.