A breach in security has always posed a threat to companies of every scale. In the modern age where digital theft and the danger of freelance hackers is ever looming, the threat as become even more substantial, as valuable data and information is vulnerable to a few clever codes and manipulations to the system, rather than a lockpick or a well-thrown brick.
It’s crucial to have the proper security measures to ensure this danger is avoided and potentially averted. If you are a brick and mortar store, a high level corporation, or a digital business, a security breach could result in great monetary losses. Some are great enough to even bring a business to its knees. “How?” you ask? Here are three ways your business could lose money due to a security breach:
1. Cost of Repairs
Whether it’s a tangible breach in security – resulting in the loss of products – or a digital breach that robbed you of value information, the long trek to becoming whole again is spendy as well as difficult.
- Replacing products.
Let’s say a punk with an anarchist phase decides to play target practice with your showroom window, or someone who watched Mission Impossible far too many times decided to take a whack at your cloud. In the end, you valuable information is damaged, stolen, or simply destroyed. These losses must be replaced, and the money invested in attaining these products must be spent again. This is a cost you will never see the return of, and it deeply affects your budget.
- Repairing damage.
Doors, locks, and glass windows don’t grow on trees, and neither do servers filled with broken codes and damaging viruses. Whether you are repairing tangible damage, or investing in an IT department to repair the horrors inflicted on your systems – possibly replacing the systems altogether – this is an expense. Money that was intended for other purposes must now be devoted to making your business whole again, so you can continue like before the breach, and this hits your bottom line.
And let’s not even talk about the money you might invest in mercenaries to hunt down the offending party; that surely cuts into the budget.
- Sealing the breach.
Before you can replace the products or repair the damage, the breach itself must be addressed. This can be investing in better security cameras and motion detectors, or upgrading all your systems to be more resistant against future hacking attempts. This money may never have been appropriated to beefing up the security, resulting in a huge and unexpected hit to your budget.
2. Drop in Productivity
It is difficult to conduct business with is a gaping hole in your storefront window, and one cannot expect employees to continue their work on computers that resemble an insane asylum more than a functioning piece of technology. Business will lull to account for the repairs and the time needed to replace damaged or stolen products, which will deeply affect productivity and your ability to make money.
In many cases, breaches in security are internal affairs. Perhaps that employee you denied a week’s vacation still holds a grudge, and decided the best way to get revenge – and a week off – was to spill vital customer information onto the web. In order to seal the breach in security and ensure the culprit is caught, production must be stopped to hold an investigation. This lull in productivity will prevent your company from making more money, and also results in the expenses needed to hold a private investigation.
3. Loss of Business
In the same way a lack of productivity ensures you don’t make money – inherently losing your potential profit – a beach in security will drive off customers, robbing you of their patronage.
- Lack of productivity.
If you are unable to conduct business at the same level as before, some clients will patiently wait for the storm to pass. However, in the bustle and opportunity of the modern day, many clients will not be so sympathetic, and will instead search out other companies to fulfill their needs. This not only robs you of the profits otherwise earned during this downtime, but it also robs you of potential long-term clients. Perhaps they would have fallen in love with your services and never visited another business; you’ll never know, because your rival has already captured their attention.
- Lack of peace of mind.
After the massive Target security beach in 2013, wherein the credit and debit card records of over forty million customers were leaked right before Christmas, people were a bit hesitant about shopping at Target again. After all, a single slip up could mean financial ruin for customers, by releasing vital personal information; what says it couldn’t happen again, and why take the risk? If your business experiences a physical security risk, customers will feel less safe doing business in a building which has already been proven unsafe, and may once again put their belongings or information. If a digital beach is experienced, then all the critical records they have entrusted with you could be thrown to the wind. It’s much easier for them to take their business elsewhere, rather than take the dangerous chance.
- Lack of products.
Just like the lull in productivity, if your business finds itself significantly out of stock – due to someone treating themselves to an early Christmas with all your stock – you’ll be unable to make sales with customers. What should you sell them, the leftover paperclips? Rather than waiting around for you to replace your products, customers will search out their needs from other businesses, robbing you of that potential profit.
Security breaches result in more than just theft; they cost you money on multiple levels. By ensuring the proper measures are taken to guard against breaches, you can ensure your business is not only safe, but profitable and productive.