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With cybercrime constantly growing, evolving, and profiting off of unsuspecting online users – it helps to keep both you and your workers vigilant.

In a 2017-2018 BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security Survey**,** the most common data breaches experienced by Australian (and New Zealand) establishments were phishing, ransomware, and malware.

Statistics also show that over 6 million Australians have been victims of cybercrime in 2018 alone, with the trend estimated to cost businesses around $29 billion each year.

The financial damages are unsurprising, considering such incidents cause massive spikes in employee downtime, operational disruption, and a loss in data and loyal customers.

More than ever, companies must equip themselves with the expertise, tools, and proper training to secure their business and consumer base. We outline the biggest productivity and financial benefits of implementing quality cybersecurity in your workplace – and how you can protect your data today.

Less threats equals to increased productivity

Ensuring your systems are as virus-free as possible can, in turn – ensure smooth, productive operations.

Infected software can not only slow computers to a crawl; but the potential loss of data can also stunt the progress of current projects, on top of further downtime in attempting to recover lost (or corrupted) information. With the right safeguards in place, both you and your workers can eliminate these hindrances, and thus, maximise business output.

This also reduces the possibility of having your website compromised. With official online stores and websites commonly being the central hub of a business’ digital financial transactions – a data breach can effectively collapse these platforms, leading to lost profits, consumer trust, and future sales.

Additionally, the knowledge of having their data protected can lead to reduced stress and anxiety among employees. Having your workers in a relaxed, trusting mindset can boost morale; bumping up productivity levels in the process.

Greater security means greater customer trust

Having strong, protective measures in place to keep company, employee, and consumer data safe will effectively keep your business’ public reputation intact.

Studies show that 85% of consumers will avoid doing business with a company altogether if they have pre-existing concerns on its security practices. 71% stated they would take their business elsewhere once their private information is compromised.

Just last year, the global average customer turnover rate following a data breach was 3.9% (a bump up from 2018’s turnover rate of 3.4%).

Knowing their data is in safe hands can inspire confidence among both returning and potential consumers, maintaining their loyalty with your company. Remember: the impact of a data breach doesn’t stop at your business – it also affects any third parties by proxy, be it customers, vendors, or other partnerships.

Proper cybersecurity implementation thus attracts and retains consumers, leading to higher profits in the long run.

A dedicated cybersecurity team can help reduce IT downtime

Rather than letting your in-house IT team do all the heavy lifting, some recommend forming a department of full-time, dedicated cybersecurity experts.

Not only will this guarantee you and your business the quality security it needs, it also frees up the workload of your other IT workers. These full-time security specialists will typically take charge of the menial, routine responsibilities of managing risk assessments, automating security checks, checking up on state and federal legislations, and monitoring the latest threats (among others). The rest of your IT experts can then shift their focus on more demanding projects and tasks better tailored to their specific skills; resulting in improved productivity all around.

Of course, having your own in-house security team allows for daily, concentrated energy on maintaining and improving your current cybersecurity systems. This generally results in greater protection – meaning less disruptions, and thus, greater profits in the long-term.

Employees will also have a clearly-established department to turn to in times of assistance. As mentioned, knowledge of strong, trusted data security can do well for workplace morale – leading to more productive (and profitable) business operations.

However, with the average annual salary of Australian security specialists at a higher-than-average , small business owners may feel hesitant in forming their own in-house team. In these cases, managers can also turn to managed security service providers (MSSPs) for the same expertise at a more affordable price.

Educating employees on cybersecurity can prevent further disruptions

Having outsourced or in-house security expertise, however, doesn’t negate the need to train employees in the same methods of breach identification, management, and prevention.

Cybersecurity experts can only do so much; should the rest of your workplace fail to implement the recommended practices themselves, you’ll continue leaving data vulnerable to prying hands.

According to a 2018 Ponemon Institute report, nearly half (47%) of employees surveyed revealed their lack of knowledge in cybercrime prevention and threat management.  With human error currently accounting for over a third (33-37%) of cyber-attacks among Australian businesses, quality training should be an utmost priority among managers.

With everyone doing their bit in keeping company information safe, the potential for system vulnerabilities and data breaches are kept at a minimum. This, in turn, minimizes disruptions and keeps everyday tasks flowing a smoothly as possible.

Prevention should take precedence over reactionary measures, however; and it can help to set policies in place to eliminate “back-doors” or loopholes for hackers to exploit. This can include restricting sensitive data access to specific devices (such as workplace computers), setting standards for social media access, outlining rules for e-mail security; and requirements for how often users need to update their passwords.

Managers and their employees must also equip themselves with a solid incidence response plan to handle operations in the event of a breach. Not only should there be steps in place to manage and isolate the threat – but methods of handling the aftermath, such as notifying customers and creating new strategies for further prevention.

Protect your business, workers, and consumers today

According to a DDLS survey, the greatest cybersecurity challenge among two-thirds of employees surveyed was ensuring they had the latest skills to handle new, sophisticated threats.

Fortunately, DDLS prides in being Australia’s #1 provider of cybersecurity training – with certifications under world-leading vendors such as CompTIA, (ISC)2 and RESILIA. Equip your workers with security basics on popular platforms like Google Cloud and AWS, or help them upskill for advanced, specialised security roles such as those in cloud security engineering, security testing, and ethical hacking.

Given the current pandemic, our platform now delivers all courses virtually through DDLS Anywhere. Using state-of-the-art telepresence technology, students can participate in virtual classrooms (led by industry professionals) from anywhere, on any device.

Protect you and your business from the growing threat of cybercrime, and enquire with us on a course today.

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