Asking “What if?” could save your business thousands: Why data protection is an absolute must.

 In advice, IT advice

Constant warnings about the dangers of Ransomware

If given the opportunity to purchase a solution that prevents both the loss of a large chunk of revenue and permanent damage to their company’s reputation, most business owners would jump at the chance—or so you’d think. Businesses are warned repeatedly by IT experts about the dangers of ransomware and other threats, yet significant security breaches continue to occur. In 2016, data breaches cost four million dollars on average. With so much at stake, why aren’t more businesses investing in data protection?

“It probably won’t happen to us”

For any businessperson whose company has already been the victim of an IT security breach, data protection becomes a clearly valuable investment. Unfortunately, by that time a lot of damage has been done that could have been prevented. Planning to spend the budget only as a remediation step (after an attack has already damaged company data) is a tremendous risk.   It is considerably more cost-effective to budget for data protection from the start.

Despite the risk of reactive planning, executives believe that their system won’t be attacked or that they are immune to these threats, but the reality is that there has been a 231 percent increase in malware incidences between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017. Worse still, many companies without data protection solutions have no other choice than to pay the ransom to retrieve their data. Some others paid and were still left without access to their files. Not only did these companies experience severe financial damages, but they had to deal with the fallout of losing the trust of their customers.

Data breaches aren’t just a technology concern

Although it’s well documented that a security breach can cost a company a fortune in financial damages, businesses often don’t anticipate the potential of losing customers or profoundly blemishing their reputation. What business owners need to realize is that the damage to their business expands far beyond the technological realm. According to a study conducted by The Ponemon Institute, fifty-four percent of companies believe it can take 10 months to more than two years to restore a company’s reputation following a breach of customer data.

When customers learn that their vendor has experienced a breach due to negligence or has failed to remediate a breach quickly, the relationship can be permanently damaged. No amount of after-the-fact technical remediation can repair the harm done to the customer’s trust. Simply put, ignoring data protection planning could gravely reduce the numbers of its primary profit center — its customers.

Beyond damaging the relationship with existing customers and dealing with the financial consequences, data breaches and data loss steal valuable time and focus from business executives. The hours spent dealing with the aftershocks of an attack could’ve been used towards improving other business processes, ones that create revenue rather than spend it. Not only that, a business that has suffered from one security breach is a bigger target for future attacks unless they identify and fix their data protection problems.

So, now that you know the values and the risks of foregoing data protection, you’ve got to ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?!

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