Secure data has become a key asset for business success
Cyberattacks have become as common as, if not even more common than "old school" attacks. No matter the business model, country of operation, size, strategy, or industry, every company out there can become a victim of such crime. That is why "secure data" has become a difficultly-reachable key asset, which organizations strive for, in order to ensure the smooth flow of business operations and mitigate functional risks.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small and middle-sized businesses that are hacked go out of business within 6 months. All that because of the increasing number of cyberattack types, which continue to evolve at a tremendous pace.
What types of cyberattacks exist?
At the moment, there are billions of different cyberattacks types, and more are created with each minute that goes by. The reason for this is the fact that every "hacker" out there uses his creativity to change components, modify structures, and develop new malicious codes. The ideas are never depleted, but the hackers become more experienced and skilled, and the attacks continuously become more sophisticated. However, below, you will find the top 5 common types of cyberattacks, which harm businesses on a daily basis.
1. Distributed Denial of Service
This attack prevents various systems, networks, servers, and platforms to fulfill requests made by the user. It can be applied to different network-connectivity layers: from restricting the company to request data set analytics from their data integrator to limiting or freezing its digital operations and online presence.
2. SQL injection
This is a type of malicious code which is inserted in the company's server thought a link or software. It manipulates the server to reveal sensitive information, which would not be shown otherwise. This way, the hacker ensures himself continuous access to any kind of data source.
As the name suggests, malware is malicious software, which takes advantage of network vulnerabilities. It is usually being integrated into the company's network through a clickable link or as part of another downloadable program or software. When installed on a device, it can spy, collect information, or disrupt operations. Malware includes spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms.
In short, this is the process of sending fraudulent messages with the purpose of stealing sensitive, private data, or install malware. It is usually done through e-mail and in most cases, aims to obtain credit/debit card information. Unfortunately, such cyberattacks are becoming very popular, and their quality is enhancing. As a result, they become more trustworthy, and business managers and employees get played easily.
Such an attack exploits two-party data transactions to interrupt traffic and eventually gain access to personal, financial, organizational, or other sensitive data. It usually works through public wifi networks, or malicious devices, such as ATMs, public computers, POS terminals, etc.
According to the research report named "Cyber threats and solutions for small and midsize businesses," 62% of the respondents claimed that they do not have up-to-date cybersecurity strategy. This is a prerequisite for the great number of organizations that have become victims of cybercrime due to several key factors:
- No effective security measures.
- Long-term storage of sensitive data, such as personal, financial, strategical, or other organizational data.
- Failure to comply with the legal regulations, which apply to the country or sector of operation. One example of such regulation is GDPR.
- Failure to understand the importance of secure data in business governance.
- Lack of knowledge by the employees or management on how to properly deal with their data.
How cybercrime harms businesses?
Companies are affected by cybercrime in two major ways: financial and intellectual.
For a small company, the cost of damage caused by one cyber incident is, on average, 120.000€. For big corporations, this incurred expense is much higher, and by 2021, the average cost of damages due to cyberattacks is expected to reach 6€ trillion.
Those high costs take away many financial possibilities for R&D, investment in a new machine and human capital, or differentiation. As a result, they take away the opportunity to gain or maintain a competitive advantage, slow down development, and limit business growth.
Companies invest tons of money in data integration software because in 2019 data analytics equals competitive advantage. They collect, store, analyze, and interpret data with the purpose of making use of this intellectual property. But what happens if this systematic process of data transactions is interrupted?
First, with any data leaks, the company risks its reputation and public image. Second, if personal data is affected, the business entity may face major legal problems, including penalties and financial charges. Last but not least, the organization will risk its competitive advantage to possess data as intellectual property for deriving valuable insights and business growth.
How to ensure data security?
Business entities can adopt several practices in order to increase the level of their data security.
- Adopting high-quality data governance policy will prohibit public or unauthorized access, and will ensure transparency of the data sets. This way, the organization will know the starting and endpoint of any data transaction, diminishing the risk of direct and indirect data-set manipulation.
- Data encryption is a must for every business with the ambition to grow. It makes data unreadable to unauthorized users, which makes it completely unusable for them. This way, both the company and its data will be protected, the risk for leaks and bad corporate image will be mitigated.
- If your data integration software is weak and vulnerable, the company bears too much risk regarding its data security, and the chance to become a victim of a cyber incident increases. As a result, a new, high-quality integrator should be used in order to ensure that proper care is being taken of the data, from start to finish of the data transactions.
- It is essential for employees to know how to treat the data properly, deal with it in a secure way, and ensure data protection by following set guidelines. That is why providing them with proper training is key for them to understand the importance of data security and the complexity of data transactions. This diminishes the risk of a data breach caused by negligence, ignorance, or lack of knowledge.
- Having data-backup is like having a raincoat on a cloudy day: if it rains, you can protect yourself. Backing up data in the cloud helps businesses to maintain their intellectual property in the case of cyberattack, and diminish the damages that such an incident would cause.
Benefits of data protection
Now, as we know why secure data is a key asset and how to ensure it, let's have a final look at the summary of benefits that it provides the business entities with.
- Ensures the trustworthiness of data analytics because of consistent, high-quality data.
- Gives a better, transparent overview of all data transactions. This way, the management has more control over the flow of operations and business processes.
- Data is available as intellectual property and can be used to acquire competitive advantage and growth.
- Secure data prevents companies from becoming victims of cyberattacks. This way, no damage costs are incurred.
- Not worrying about data security gives businesses the freedom to focus on their primary tasks and work towards development.