A business that is negatively impacted by crime can’t grow, and will inevitably shrink and possibly collapse. Companies should consider investing in security, mainly because of how crime can adversely affect a business’s long-term growth projections.
Criminal activity tends to impact the performance of small and medium enterprises negatively. As the journal Tourism Economics reports, a study based in Latin America finds that there is a negative correlation between increased crime rate and small business growth. How then does a business deal with the problem of crime while at the same time remaining profitable? The key to this discussion lies in how the business approaches its security.
Online business security measures
While physical security is a significant factor, a company would do well not to overlook the safety of its data. Even physical locations require proper data security, or else they risk falling prey to malicious users that can potentially steal customer data. Data breaches could lead to a loss of business, and potential legal action by affected users, which would negatively impact the growth of the company. These are some of the steps enterprises can take regarding their online security:
Training employees in data security
CNBC mentions that the most substantial cybersecurity risk facing U.S. businesses stems from employee negligence. While proper training might lower this risk factor, employee screening that deals with potential employees who fail to follow security protocols exactly can also minimize the exposure to risk from this direction. Businesses should deal with training employees in the underlying security measures necessary to protect company data.
Installing a cybersecurity system does have a significant impact on whether hackers consider the business worth breaking into. Small businesses tend to be the easiest targets for malicious users because they offer a similar prize to large corporate structures, but without the level of security that corporations invest in. The more complicated a system is to crack, the less attractive it is for a hacker to spend time and effort on it. By having a basic cybersecurity system, a business is already working to deter hackers from trying to gain access to its data.
Virtual private networks (VPNs)
If there are remote workers associated with the business or sensitive data that needs to be sent to anywhere online, there will be a risk of a data breach by interception. VPNs have long been a bastion for those users who seek anonymity online but more than that, it can be used to protect a business from falling prey to interception attacks. VPN’s create a direct tunnel between the source location and target location so that data is sent directly from sender to recipient without any third party having access to that data while it is in transit. For businesses, this adds a layer of impenetrable security to their data transmission.
Why invest in security?
Business prosperity is directly proportional to the company’s profitability. The more security breaches it has, both offline and online, the less profitable the business stands to be since it will be losing money dealing with restoring systems and appeasing customers. Security is a preventative measure to ensure that the company can withstand attempts to get access to its data or premises. It’s an investment that sees a return by allowing the business to be profitable instead of having to reinvest profits into mitigation and settlements. It might not be such a prominent contributor to the growth of an enterprise, but without security, the business would likely fail because of an inability to deal with the constant threats on its location or customer information.