Cyber security is in the mind of pretty much every business leader these days – and with good reason. It’s no surprise that professionals who offer cyber security services are in high demand, and that’s because they can act to reduce the risk – or even prevent altogether – some key problems that modern businesses face. From company leaders worried about the impact on profits to gaming industry bosses concerned that they may be in breach of the law if the personal data of players is illicitly accessed, there’s a lot to consider.
The main worry for a business when it comes to cyber security, of course, is the financial risk that a cyber-attack poses. For a business with a company bank account, for example, any employee in the accounts department could receive an authentic-looking phishing email purportedly from a bank and place company funds at risk if they click through and submit sensitive data. There are also lots of fines that can be levied on firms who are found to have broken the law, which creates more financial risk.
Regulation – and reputation
However, the cyber security burden on modern businesses goes further than that. Businesses can face fines and legal consequences if they get hacked: AT&T, for example, was hit with a $25m fine over a data breach in 2015. If the breach is serious enough, then they could even go out of business. There’s also a reputational stigma attached to breaches – and this in some cases can be even more powerful than the long arm of the law.
Companies that have allowed their businesses to get attacked due to negligence or failure to act are often seen as lazy, and this can in the long run have a profound effect on sales and customer loyalty. When Sony’s PlayStation network was hacked in 2011, for example, it received a lot of negative press. As a result, investing up front in a cyber security professional who can prevent these issues from arising is essential.
For these reasons, it’s important to hire a cyber security professional who is able to educate team members about the risks and carry out an audit to ensure that there are no potential network exploitation points where hackers could get in. While paying for such a professional may seem like a financial risk in itself, given that cyber security breaches are unpredictable and there’s no guarantee that you’ll need the service, it’s actually vital to make sure that such a person is in place. It’s possible to cut costs, though: employing a cyber security contractor who works flexibly means fewer costs for the employer, as contractors either manage their own tax affairs or use an umbrella company to do it for them.
Many modern companies now need cyber security – and given the range of threats they face, it’s not at all surprising. From the regulations that firms must follow to the need to prevent financial damage in the event of a breach, there are all kinds of reasons why it makes sense for businesses both large and small to invest in a knowledgeable and skilled expert who can give their teams the information they need.