Decreasing business costs and risks of costly data loss
We live in a 24/7 global economy that is more dependent than ever on technology. Even the technology of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) houses sensitive digital data – employee and customer information, internal emails, documents and financial records, sales orders and transaction histories. Not to mention applications and programs critical to daily business function and services.
Employees at SMBs require continuous access to the critical business data needed to meet the demands of the customers or clients they service. They even want this access while they’re at home or on the go running errands.
To satisfy this demand, many companies and organisations now allow employees to BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) and “do business” using their personal laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The web, Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices with robust memory and battery life have made this constant access to a SMBs back office infrastructure a reality. Regrettably this flexibility and freedom is accompanied by an ominous risk of data loss.
Just a single data loss or breach can be costly to SMBs. Data losses and leaks come with lingering continuous costs that many SMBs cannot easily shake or overcome. Revenue is lost if employee productivity and customer accessibility/ service are stalled by data loss. The expenses associated with internal research and investigation, system repair and maintenance, and data security protection are another heavy price SMBs must pay. If cybercrime is involved, affected customers must be notified, the potential exists for litigation, and many customers will likely never return due to mistrust.
While corporate-level data losses are well publicised, many SMBs mistakenly believe their data isn’t at risk. This mistake can prove to be a costly one.
Why C-Suite Management at SMBs Can No Longer Ignore Data Loss
- Following a significant data loss, it is estimated that SMBs can lose up to 25% in daily revenue by the end of the first week.
- According to the recent national UK survey, 93% of companies that have experienced data loss, and prolonged downtime for ten or more days have filed for bankruptcy within twelve months of the incident. 50% wasted no time and filed for bankruptcy immediately. 43% of companies with no data recovery and business continuity plan actually go out of business following a major data loss. How quickly can your business be restored if critical data is lost? When was the last time backup processes were tested to ensure all data is recoverable and business operations are quickly restored?
- A survey conducted by Symantec SMB revealed that fewer than half of SMBs surveyed backup their data each week. Only 23% of those surveyed said they backup data every day and have a business continuity plan in place.
- The percentage of cybercriminal attacks targeting businesses with fewer than 250 employees doubled in 2012. The vulnerabilities of naive small business owners have been noted, and hackers have now placed the proverbial bull’s-eye on these perceived weak links. If sensitive customer data is leaked, SMBs may face overwhelming financial liabilities, which could include reimbursing affected customers and legal fees.
- BYOD isn’t a trend or passing fad. It is here to stay and the fact of the matter is businesses no longer own the devices used by employees. This is unprecedented. It’s not as if the employees of yesterday could haul home their file cabinets and desk. This obviously comes with a number of data security risks. The number of networks, applications, and end points where data can be accessed has multiplied with BYOD. Who manages these devices? Who secures these devices? Do SMBs have the right to back up data on machines they do not own? If an employee loses a laptop, or goes AWOL on the company, what data do they have and does anyone else in the company have access to it?