There is more to getting the Cyber Essentials accreditation than just having the bragging rights to getting certified. The benefits of the program is incredibly far-reaching, bringing enterprises who obtained the certification short and long-term results.
It helps with motivating companies to pursue cybersecurity, what’s more, the Cyber Essentials program helps companies avoid needless (let alone, costly) fire-fighting that comes with getting their network hacked by cyber-criminals.
In this post, we will look into the Cyber Essentials program and its benefits, and see why the program is more than just your run-off-the-mill certification.
Groundwork for Cyber Risk Protection
With the ultimate goal of protecting you from threats and attacks, Cyber Essentials presents a framework with fundamental defense methods that you can use for your company.
Just as you would update your apps and computer systems for optimum functionality, these controls require periodic updating to be most effective in combating threats.
Installed and updated firewalls, along with anti-virus and anti-malware programs, for instance, can avert viruses, malicious code, and other unwanted traffic and users.
They act as your primary defenses because they block these digital troublemakers from swimming into your IT network stream.
What happens when you have outdated firewalls and anti-virus-and-malware software?
New forms of cyber threats can enter undetected and permissibly. Remember that malware and viruses keep up with the advancing trends and technologies today.
They can adapt at the same pace or modernize themselves even further so that you won’t suspect a thing when they disguise themselves as your friendly-looking guests or work partners.
If, for example, you have a Shopify eCommerce store and you’re looking for the best Shopify apps to use, you need to ensure that what you plan to install is guaranteed safe and legit.
You can do this through thorough background research, reading reviews, and others. You can even check for available, certified security plugins to further protect your store and customers.
In this way, you can make sure that the apps can indeed optimize your operations rather than hurt them and destroy your asset security.
Besides updating firewalls and antivirus programs, you must also configure your security through practices like password strengthening, authenticating identities, site encryption, etc.
The management and your employees’ participation will be just as crucial.
You need to train them on anti-phishing techniques, for instance, where they can recognize deceitful emails and malicious links and respond to the incident appropriately.
Your access governance, which determines the designations allowed to obtain specific types of data, fortifies as well your cybersecurity and accountability for safe information management.
Costs of Data Breaches
Perhaps you’re wondering how bad the losses can be if you disregard those security controls and experience data breaches.
Statistics reveal the staggering amount of losses you can suffer in your finances, business hours, information records, and more.
- The sum of cyber-crime cost for each business rose by 12 percent, from more than 11 million dollars in 2017 to 13 million in 2018.
- Data breaches, on average, have a price tag of nearly 4 million dollars.
- Fake and malicious online advertisements caused business companies to lose 19 billion dollars in 2018, converted to 51 million dollars each day.
- Malware attacks, on the other hand, amount to 2.6 million dollars on average.
- In 2019, reports expected ransomware damages to increase to over 11 billion dollars, and for businesses to become a victim to the attack every 14 seconds.
These incidents often occur due to a lack of awareness about preventing and removing ransomware, which is why companies must invest in cyber security training.
Compromised and stolen personnel passwords also cost close to 400,000 dollars on average.
For businesses, time is money — and cyber-attacks eating up your business hours also consume your revenue. On average, malware attacks take 50 days.
Cyber breaches also cause eight or more hours of downtime among 40 percent of small enterprises. That downtime amounts to losses of almost 1.6 million dollars on average.
Now, if you think compromising your data and records won’t cost a penny, think again.
- The most expensive aspect of a cyber attack is data loss pegged at nearly 6 million dollars.
- On average, every stolen record is worth 150 dollars.
- While the average cost of every hijacked or lost records for each person is 141 dollars, the figures can vary depending on the country.
- Breaches command the highest price in the US at 225 dollars and 190 in Canada per record per individual.
Finally, besides your finances, customer trust, and business hours, cyberattacks suffered due to neglecting security practices can cost you your business.
How much can losing your business cost? Close to 1.5 million dollars.
Globally, the cost of losing businesses is most expensive for US companies, amounting to more than 4 million dollars each.
That also comes with customer turnover, heightened buyer acquisition campaigns, impaired goodwill and reputation.
These losses are too massive compared to the investment you can put in cybersecurity. But you can avoid it all if you employ early on the practices Cyber Essentials advocates, among others.
Better Brand Reputation, More Sales
Besides improving your chances of avoiding colossal company losses due to breaches, Cyber Essentials helps you gain a better brand reputation in your customers’ and investors’ eyes.
One of the ways the program does this is through the Cyber Essentials badge it awards you with your certificate.
Your badge is what you can display on your website, mobile app, email newsletters, digital and printed marketing materials, and other collateral. If you’re still about to design or redesign your website, the Cyber Essentials badge, among others, can be a perfect inclusion for your layout.
This badge tells your customers and investors that you seriously abide by security protocols to keep your and their information safe — and that a trusted body guarantees so. The badge allows you to start building your audience’s trust, which is vital for them to transact with and entrust their assets to your company.
That leads to increased sales, traffic, conversions, customer patronage and loyalty. Building on your secure reputation through your badge, you can then bolster your future marketing strategies and expand your audience base.
Cyber Essentials is more than just a certification. It is one of the strongest strategies you can leverage to protect your business, data, customers, reputation, and other assets.
Therefore it’s vital that you invest in your information security. Cyber Essentials helps you with that and more, boosting your image and business performance, among others.
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