For better or worse, the future of businesses is online. Whether your business operates exclusively in the digital space or relies on cloud technology to run your point of sale system, it’s hard to stay competitive without the use of modern technology and software. It’s clear that technology improves business. But this brings with it its own inherent risks. Your information is out in the world, and without meaningful safeguards, it can be exploited by criminals who want to take advantage of your data – and as we know, there are plenty of them out there. Regardless of the nature of your business, protecting data should be a top priority.
Protecting Your Customers
Whether you’ve given it any consideration or not, your customers are implicitly trusting you with some of their most sensitive information. Most modern transactions are handled through credit cards, and a security breach in your system could put the financial security of everyone you’ve done business with in the hands of criminals. As more and more high-profile security breaches blanket the news cycle, customers are increasingly wary of keeping their data safe, and a security breach can torpedo the reputation of a small business as easily as it can an enterprise-level company.
Protecting Your Assets
Knowledge is power, and that’s especially true when operating on a business level. Your business plans, demographic metrics, and sales data are assets every bit as important as the goods or services you provide, and they could potentially be used as a means to extort your company, undermine its potential to stay competitive, or provide competitors with the leg up they need to drive you out of business. When you put your attention towards protecting data, you aren’t just keeping your information secure. You’re protecting the fundamental foundation on which your company is built.
Managing A Reliable Business Model
The increased accessibility that the internet offers brings with it increased information security expectations. Customers who can connect with your company at any hour of the day expect you to be able to respond quickly and appropriately. Whether your data is compromised by someone with nefarious intentions or through a simple accident, it’s likely to cause significant problems in how you do business. Lost data can compromise your staff’s ability to do their job or force you to shutter your doors for a significant period of time as you work to resolve the problem. While this may not jeopardize your customers’ trust in the same manner a breach of their personal information can, it can still create negative impressions and hurt your business’ reputation for a long time to come.
As data protection has become a more serious concern, the law has started to become involved on a federal level. Keeping a level of trust between registered businesses and their customers is necessary to maintain a healthy and thriving marketplace, and there are a number of federal regulations in place regarding how businesses manage data security. These often require that your data only be stored in specific ways, limit how long information can be retained, and are used only for specific purposes. Even if your business isn’t compromised by a data breach, there could be consequences to your finances and reputation for not complying by the standards. A sensible data protection solution can make sure that you’re operating safely within the confines of the law.