Starting a business is always an exciting experience. First, you set up the physical location, stock up your store, employ people to facilitate the purchases, and then advertise the business so you can gain more clients. After this, you then put up a website, which gives you more clientele leverage since even international customers can access your services. While most entrepreneurs take time to secure their physical stores, they do not take as many measures with online stores, knowing fully that it is a risk they are taking. But how much of a threat is it for business owners to have their websites breached? Have a read to see what this could mean for your business.
According to the most recent Cost of a Data Breach Study, the typical data breach costs $3.86 million. In terms of record lost or stolen, the average cost is $148 per record. If you think about how much data your business has on file, you can see how the costs can mount to a huge figure. So, let’s take a look at the different ways a data breach costs your company…
A breach could cost you your clients
Most of the time, customers visit a site to purchase goods and services they like. These websites avail online money transfer options which the clients can use freely. When they want to pay for a certain item, clients have to key in their details that include names and bank account details on a particular website. This data is usually stored on the server. In case someone gets hold of such information, they could use it to make away with cash kept in the accounts of these clients. In such a case, your clients would lose trust in you considering that you left them vulnerable to attacks by hackers, leading them to move to other providers whom they perceive to be more proactive in securing their information.
Cash used for recovery costs
A majority of those who have to incur this cost are those whose sites have sensitive data which their business cannot operate without. In such a situation, you will find that a hacker sends malware to the site and takes control of it. This perpetrator will then demand a ransom in exchange for the data, from the business owners. As you can guess, the ransom is one that may leave the business crippled for a long time.
Revenue in terms of sales
In the event of a security breach, you may have to halt your business operations especially if the hacker has full control of your database. This means that all orders that were to be dispatched prior to the breach will have to stay pending until you gain full control of the site. Additionally, you will have to wait until the fiasco is over for other clients to place an order. This period that is wasted bargaining with the hacker could have been spent making more money and building up your clientele base.
One thing that is sure to happen is that your reputation will go down the drain. Everything that you had invested in to make your business a reputable one will become obsolete due to this single event. Both the existing clients and the potential ones will be cautious when visiting your site regardless of the purpose of a visit.
Zero competitive ability
In most cases, hackers are usually after data that is unique to the business. This can include your list of clients, strategies used in coming up with prices, stakeholders, and other secrets that contribute to the success of your business. If such details are leaked out to the public domain, it becomes difficult for you to compete with others in the industry considering that they already know what makes you thrive. They will use this information to their advantage by incorporating your strategies into their business endeavors.
Time, precious time
In business, time is equated to money. Entrepreneurs spend time coming up with strategies to increase their sales every day. As such, the breach will cost you this resource now that you will be calling for meetings to see how to deal with the situation rather than create a new marketing or customer relations service strategy that will prove to be beneficial to the business.
What Solutions are Available?
With all this in mind, it is essential to come up with ways to curb security breaches. Here are some of the top solutions that you can take advantage of to keep hackers at bay.
Virtual Private Networks
A virtual private network is a resourceful software that allows you to keep your online transactions anonymous. Whenever you go online, your presence will not be recognized. Whether you are sending cash or logging into the business website to take care of things, no one will manage to trace your prints online. Incorporating a VPN in your daily routine will ensure that even if you forget to log out of an account, no one will manage to trace your activities on the Internet. Additionally, a VPN will allow you to surf securely even in areas where individuals are restricted from accessing the website. Take a look at this Avast VPN review to get an idea of the sort of thing you should be looking for.
This is software that keeps the site secure from the unauthorized activity on each account. The data that is transferred within the site is encrypted using several keys, which of course are not public information. The person receiving the data on the other end will require these same keys to decrypt the information sent to them. In addition to this, the sites come equipped with system patches, which come in handy when a few flaws are detected in the system. You can use this availability to cover up the flaw or come up with stronger security options that can wade off any attempt by a hacker to force their way into the site.