Data breaches – or the release of private or secure information from a business – can feel like a cyber boogieman. The threat of a data breach hangs over many businesses in today’s day and age, often without business owners being entirely sure what they are dreading.
So, what is a data breach, exactly? And how can a data breach hurt your business? Let’s go over the specifics of this evolving threat and ways you can fight back against the rising risk of a data breach for your business.
How Do We Define a Data Breach?
Most companies keep online records nowadays. In a perfect world, this data would be completely protected and kept secure. Data breaches occur when a company’s data security is compromised. This compromise can allow data to be accidentally or intentionally destroyed, lost, or altered.
Data breaches can also occur if a company’s data is disclosed or accessed without proper authorization.
How Can a Data Breach Hurt You?
Understanding what a data breach is can make it easier for you to understand how a data breach can hurt your business. Your customers, employees, and vendors often count on you to keep certain information private. A data breach can, therefore:
- Damage Your Reputation and Brand Value
- Cost You the Trust of Your Customers
Data breaches can also have more direct impacts on your financial situation. You could lose valuable business information in a data breach, which could be used by your rivals.
Additionally, you may have to cease business operations for a period of time after a data breach. Your business could take a big revenue hit while you figure out:
- Where the Data Breach Occurred
- How to Prevent Another Breach
Finally, if customers have lost faith in your company, they may go somewhere else with their business. It can take a tremendous amount of time to regain the faith of consumers, making data breaches very damaging to businesses.
How Can You Fight Back Against Data Breaches?
You have options when it comes to fighting against data breaches. Ideally, you can take steps to prevent a data breach by performing a security audit of your company and looking for weak points. You can:
- Offer Security Training for Employees
- Strengthen Your Privacy Policies
- Turn to 3rd Party such as Online Security Management
You also have options if you are one of the billions of individuals who already suffered a data breach. Your first step should be putting an end to the breach. You may need to isolate the breach by cutting off accounts that are compromised. Don’t be afraid to get professional help if you are unsure about the best ways to plug a data breach.
It is important that you gauge the damage caused by a data breach and inform anyone who was impacted by the breach. You should also report any breach to the proper authorities. Make sure that you perform a security audit to locate weak points exploited in the breach so you can change your company’s processes to prevent an additional breach in the future.
Fight Against the Damage Caused by Data Breaches
You don’t have to sit and wait for a data breach to impact your business. Strengthening your security protocols now and getting help from cybersecurity specialists can protect your company and your clients. Take steps today to prevent a data breach or to recover if you have already experienced a loss in data.