We often talk about the hard costs of lost data as a result of ransom amounts, use of resources, legal fees, and regulatory fines, but these are only the short term costs. In the long term, the soft costs are more troubling. These costs include customer loss, tarnished brand reputation, and productivity loss. While soft costs are difficult to quantify for small and medium sized organizations, it’s likely their impact is much higher over the long run than hard costs.

Customer Lossdata breach impact

Your clients drive the success of your business. Without them, your organization would fail. Data breaches can put those relationships at jeopardy. It is your responsibility to protect your client’s information at all costs and create a secure environment for them. In a recent study by Radware, customer loss was the greatest impact of a data breach for SMBs. In addition, 41% of the surveyed organizations reported that customers even took legal action against their company after a data breach.

Tarnished Brand Reputation

A data breach will not only drive clients away but it will also tarnish your brand reputation, thus making it more difficult to gain new customers. Customers share information with the idea that we’re doing everything possible to protect them. This starting with tightly controlling access. Establishing a proactive security program will preserve your reputation. A proactive security program can even be used as a competitive advantage if leveraged effectively.

Productivity Loss

Data loss often results in prolonged recovery time, lack of morale, and fear of job loss. All of which can lead to further loss. When employees can’t get their job done, discouragement rises and could result in financial loss. By taking steps to mitigate potential vulnerabilities within your environment, organizations can reduce risk without compromising productivity.

The bottom line is a data breach can and will affect your bottom line (pun intended). Implementing a proactive cybersecurity program before a drastic event occurs will allow you to avoid these negative impacts (along with many other headaches). Companies that value security as an integral part of their brand will fare better with investors and consumers. Rebounding from the event will be easier, quicker and more effective.

It’s imperative to start thinking proactively and there are many small changes you can make to get started. Join us on April 24 for 30 minute webinar to learn a simple tip to start this proactive process.

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