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For the past decade, the risk to cybersecurity has been steadily building. While systems of defense have become more advanced, the methods that hackers use and the tools they have at their disposal are equally increasing. Even taking a short-term approach to the risk, there was a 1,070% increase in attacks between July 2020 and June 2021, demonstrating the extraordinary spike in attacker activity.

Why Cybersecurity Should Be a Business Priority
Why Cybersecurity Should Be a Business Priority in 2023 Pixabay

The primary target of these attacks is businesses - no matter what size. With a successful attack on a business, the data breach that surrounds the event typically costs a business over $4.3 million USD. Due to modern businesses collecting more data than ever before, they have so much more to lose when breaches are involved. Instead of only losing internal data, they are set to lose customer information, financial records, and private files.

While larger businesses can normally weather the storm and come out on the other side, this is simply not the case for small businesses. In fact, over 60% of all small businesses that suffer a data breach will go out of business in the next 6 months, demonstrating that it's nearly impossible to bounce back from a cyberattack.

With the importance of farming data at an all-time high and the risk of cyberattacks equally peaking, it's never been more important to ensure your company has the best cybersecurity defenses available to them.

Why Is Data Security So Important in 2022 and Beyond?

There's a reason that 97% of businesses are now investing heavily in big data and AI tools to manage that data. Data is currently one of the most significant resources that businesses can turn to if they want to succeed. Over the past few years, personalization has become everything, with marketing and sales now driven by the ability to directly accommodate a customer.

To keep up with the need to personalize content, businesses farm customer data at rates that have never been seen before. From taking personal data to tracking website engagement and social media interactions, everything generates a continuous stream of data for businesses to use.

This data can be used to create data-driven marketing campaigns, turning a whole plethora of information into insight into how to best target certain demographics and customer types. What's more, instead of turning business into a fairly nebulous practice when it comes to decision-making, data insights can generate light and point to the best direction for a business to go.

Making decisions with data leads to more profitable interactions, higher customer retention rates, and even more long-term success. In fact, a data-driven organization is 23x more likely to find and acquire new customers than a company that does not use customer data. Quite simply, data is vital if companies want to succeed.

However, with this advantageous tool comes a huge downside - a reliance on data makes companies targets for cybercrime. While ten years ago, a major cyberattack would only frustrate a company for a few days or weeks, with the reliance on data that modern businesses have, it is now a make-or-break situation.

As data continues to be a valuable resource in 2022 and beyond, companies will continually be targets. Using ransomware or malware and holding that data at bay from reaching a company completely impedes their ability to continue running their business. With this in mind, it's now imperative that companies have cybersecurity in place to stop hackers from interfering with their data.

How Does Effective Cybersecurity Contribute To Successful Business Practices?

Going beyond just data security, effective cybersecurity can positively impact a business in a whole number of ways. As cybercrime becomes more prominent and more accessible, due to the wide availability of hacking tools, it's always a good idea to keep cyber defenses at the front of a business's mind.

There are several areas in which effective cybersecurity helps contribute to a successful business:

  • Brand Image - When a company suffers a cyber incident, they're not just putting its own data at risk but actually putting all of its customers at risk as well. With this in mind, a cyber event can cause customers to lose trust in a business, seeing their poor cybersecurity as a sign that they're not properly invested in their own company. Customer trust is hard to build, but incredibly easy to lose.
  • Productivity - To be as productive and effective as possible when at work, employees rely on a range of different tools. Whether sales platforms or communication tools, these business tools are essential for an efficient workplace. If a cyberattack occurs that locks people out from these systems, their ability to do their jobs is hindered, leading to a loss of capital for the business and a frustration to progress.
  • Reduce Loses - With any data breach, businesses will incur huge financial losses. From not being able to continue to run their business and losing out on potential gains to having to pay to reconstruct data systems, any cybersecurity risk event can lead to huge losses. Having great cybersecurity prevents these losses, with an investment here always paying for itself in the future.

Investing in cybersecurity is one area that will continue to benefit companies long into the future.

Final Thoughts

It's undeniable that we now live in a digital world that is shaped by the collection and insight gained from engaging with data. As a business, taking advantage of all the data that's available to you is one of the core ways to drive success. But, with this comes the risk of hackers targeting your company to frustrate that process.

Going beyond just keeping your data safe, great cybersecurity can keep businesses productive, advert losses, and sustain a strong brand image. As we progress further into the 2020s, cybersecurity should continue to be a primary priority for businesses, independent of their scope or size.