These days, news stories about another company being hacked or experiencing a security breach are usual.
We hardly blink an eye.
It only leaves an impact when you receive an email stating that your information could potentially be affected.
And if you’re a business owner, it could devastate your business if you didn’t take precautionary measures.
Regardless of size, the number one thing a business should think about is security and protection against data breaches.
If you follow along with this post, you’ll soon learn just how security breaches can hurt your business.
1. Bad Publicity
While you want to gain brand awareness, you don’t want this kind.
Becoming well-known or viral because of a security breach can be devastating.
It brings negative attention to your business as people begin asking questions such as:
- “What was hacked?”
- “What/whose information was affected?”
- “Why didn’t you do a better job securing your business?”
- “How are you going to handle it?”
These questions can become overwhelming, and you don’t want to add any more stress to yourself. The best way to not have to experience this tiresome situation is to prevent it.
2. Loss Of Customer Trust/Loyalty
The biggest consequence of a security breach would be the lack of trust from both old and new customers. Losing your customers’ trust and loyalty is like a death sentence.
A business’s main goal includes satisfying customers’ needs and solving their problems while making a profit in return.
So, if you don’t have any customers, you have no business.
Many businesses that experience a breach never reopen or eventually fail a few years down the line.
Of course, this isn’t the case for all. Many large corporations experience them, but customers eventually go back.
However, the rate of recovery does depend on a few factors, particularly the size of the business as well as the severity of the breach.
If you’re a larger and more established business, your chances of recovering are greater. That’s because you likely have the resources necessary to handle a breach.
You have enough to sustain your business when you right everything that went wrong and enough to make it through while you attempt to rebuild your reputation.
On the other hand, if you’re a smaller business that is trying to survive, a breach can be detrimental.
Customers will no longer trust the safety of their information with you and will likely be extra cautious of where they purchase from in the future.
No matter what type of business you run, consumer data is a primary target.
This means you’re at risk if your site interacts with any personal data from customers.
You might believe security for your website is too expensive, especially if you outsource it. And while it is costly, a security breach costs significantly more.
Let’s break it down real quick.
The cost is reflective of the severity and number of records stolen.
Also, the quicker you can identify any suspicious or odd behavior within your website, the greater the chance of it being contained and less expensive. Although it’s still a lot.
Even though it wasn’t intentional, you may receive fines or penalties after a breach.
Therefore, you should make sure you operate your business in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Try to say that five times fast.
Additionally, you’ll have to perform an investigation to see why it occurred.
This can provide useful information for a stronger protection plan (or even one at all), but it is costly.
Your business will likely not be operating during this time or it will be heavily reduced, so you will see a significant decrease in your profit. That’s just an additional cost on top of what you have to pay.
And don’t forget, the monitoring process takes time as does having to reimburse those affected if something happens to their information.
You could have to continue to watch for customers’ data for a long time.
We know money doesn’t grow on trees, so your best money-saving option is to prevent it before it even happens.
4. Lack of Communication
If a breach does occur, it is important to communicate and be transparent with your customers. This way they are aware of the situation and can take action if affected.
If you fail to do either or try to sweep the issue under the rug and downplay it, you risk destroying your customers’ trust with your business even more than the breach itself.
Once the breach gets revealed, and it always will, you’ll be in even deeper water.
The way one handles a breach can have a huge impact on the outcome.
If you want to be able to salvage your reputation at all, you need to be honest about the situation and willing to do all you can to address it.
5. Damaged Reputation
A business’s reputation is often what makes or breaks it.
You will never come across a successful business that has a bad reputation. No one wants to put their trust in something questionable and unreliable.
That means you need to always be thorough and careful with everything you do. All your interactions with customers, handling of payments, contracts, and so on.
Eliminate any potential for a scandal, and you won’t have to worry.
Regardless of company size or type, a breach in security will damage your reputation.
A damaged reputation leads to the loss of customer trust, which leads to a loss of profit. It turns into a vicious cycle that ends in failure.
For your reputation’s sake, don’t be lax because you believe you are safe as a small business. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Overall, a security breach is a complex conflict that is not beneficial for any of the parties involved. Besides the hacker, of course.
While technology has its advantages, many consequences accompany it.
If you get nothing else out of this post, we at least hope you will remember that the easiest way to deal with a security breach is by preventing it.
While it can sometimes be more costly, there is no doubt it is worth the investment.
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- 5 Legal Tips For New Business Owners
- 10 Ways To Prevent Security Breaches By Protecting Your Company’s Data
- 5 Ways To Rejuvenate A Failing Business
- 4 Ways To Boost Your Brand Awareness Online
- 5 Ways To Build Trust Using Social Media
- How To Get More Data From Your Leads And Customers
- 5 Ways To Create A Tailor-Made Customer Experience
- How To Handle A Reputation Crisis On Social Media
- How To Position Yourself As A Trustworthy Expert Online
- 5 Ways To Protect Your Business Reputation
Katelyn Beery is a blogging intern at LadyBossBlogger.com. She majors in writing at Ithaca College and hopes to pursue a career in either technical or professional writing. She can usually be found cleaning, listening to music, or gazing at clouds.