✦ How is your cyber hygiene? Is your business' cyber space safe and clean?
We can moan about all the cookies hiding in our computer systems and get arrogantly cynical about how we never read privacy policies and all the fine print. The thing is, cyberspace, like any other space, needs to be kept safe. Safety is a primary basic need for all humans.
How safe is your clients' data?
Is your website secure?
At this phase in this century, everything that can be put online is online, and everybody who runs a business does online marketing one way or another. Digitisation is here to stay and so are threats to information security. We have so many apps, platforms and data in the elusive cloud.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Wouldn't you trust a business more knowing that whatever information you have freely given them is kept safe?
Cost of cyber crime is inching towards $10.5 Trillion annually by 2025.
We bet you're sitting up straighter after reading this!
It pays to ask, as a business, what are your cybersecurity best practices and whether you are compliant with the rules and regulations of the country where your business is registered?
With remote working now more the norm than the exception, we are opening up potential loopholes for cyber risks. You may not have considered this but it is important to ensure that your employees are using a trusted and secure Wi-Fi, and are vigilant about keeping sensitive data private when sharing living spaces.
Here are some of the most important cybersecurity issues businesses face.
Top 15 Cyber security issues:
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Mobile Device Security
Safe Wi-Fi Security practices
Is your technical team prepared to manage these issues? Do you have experience with them? Speak to your technical team and see where your business is on the cybersecurity scale.
While your sales team may be happily drumming up sales and campaigns and getting potential customers signing up for newsletters etc., you need to ensure your technical team is on the same page and knows how to deal with cyber attacks, hackers, malware etc.
Learn about your company's cyber-footprint, potential cyber threats, data breaches and decide on a protocol for security incidents.
Reputation is everything
You can have a website that looks like a million dollars but all you need is one data breach to significantly affect your business' reputation.
'46 percent of organizations had suffered damage to their reputations and brand value as a result of a breach. Another 19 percent of organisations suffered reputational and brand damage as a result of a third-party security breach or IT system failure.' - Forbes, The Reputational Impact of IT Risk
A cyber attack, or a data breach, is not a one-off incident that customers will brush off and forget soon enough. It can ruin years of marketing and PR efforts. A business could risk more than just a loss of brand reputation. It could result in closure. You do not want your current or potential customers to lose faith in the security of your business. After all, they have trusted you by sharing their personal information with you to access your products and services.
Social Security, literally
"Security has been compromised!" Tom Cruise can make this sound cool and dashing in yet another Mission Impossible scenario, but in real life, this can be catastrophic.
Your business probably has quite a few social media channels for marketing purposes. Social media's reach is across the entire planet, and they connect your business beyond to other pages, websites, forums, groups, etc. All the time, money and effort you spend on the content and design for these sites will go down the drain if the account is compromised. Monitor your channels. It could be a prank where someone impersonates you and uses your business account, but if it's not caught in time it could cause a lot of confusion and generate mistrust.
Huge MNCs can afford to have a Data Protection Officer entrusted to take care of their cyber security issues. Small businesses do not have this luxury, but it does not mean that you throw cyber security to the winds. Speak to your team, including the marketers and technical wizards to ensure that your company is following the legal procedures and compliance.
Basically, compliance correctly done is vital to healthy cyber security and data protection.
Cyber Hygiene Tips
During your meeting with your marketers and IT team, go through some of these questions to check your cyber hygiene.
Are you using the right data regulations (General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR) of your country and are you meeting the security compliance required?
Do you update, maintain and review your password policies regularly?
Does everyone in your company have some sort of security training i.e. can they spot a phishing attack, know how to keep their systems safe?
What is your company's protocol in the event of an attack?
Do you regularly update and secure all your portable devices?
Are all your employees using a trusted and secure Wi-Fi system?
'Prevention is better than cure' is the mantra here when it comes to cyber security. You even need to watch out for special campaigns in the year such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday where there is a lot more cyber traffic. Hackers are busy stealing data here so you need to be on the alert.
It sounds like a lot to do only to prepare in case of an attack, but this is preparation that is well worth the effort and could save you much heartbreak. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that you have done what you can to ensure your business is kept safe. Your customers will thank you for it, and just as Batman looks after Gotham City while the citizens sleep oblivious to his work, your cyber security staff are doing this very important job of protecting the business, the employees, and the customers.
Stay safe, cyber safe.
Vermilion Pinstripes sales / marketing / communications
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