Cybersecurity has enjoyed a dramatic rise to popularity due to the increase in online presences in the digital age as well as the increased reliance on the internet for almost every corporate function, especially following the pandemic. It refers to the processes and systems in place in an organisation to protect and preserve their electronic data, software, and hardware from malware and hackers. Many organisations today, regardless of industry, store personal data of their customers as well as employees in electronic format. This makes it a prime target for hackers who try to steal and sell this information as well as hold organisational data to ransom (ransomware). There may also be incidents of attempting to steal company secrets and insider information and sell them to competitors or publicise them. Therefore, the importance of a strong cybersecurity system in an organisation cannot be understated. If the IT function of the company is outsourced, the cybersecurity risk naturally passes to the service provider. Many service providers such as IT support services Cairns recruit and train employees in basic cybersecurity to reduce the chances of security breaches occurring on their end of the service.
The cybersecurity risk of companies has increased exponentially over the past few years due to the increased involvement of information technology in all aspects of operation. This is expected to increase further following the pandemic as many organisations have adopted working online as well as storing most of their data online for remote working possibilities. Therefore, many organisations have considered cybersecurity an important parameter in organisational success as well as the safety of their company, employees, and customers. Some companies have established cybersecurity divisions in their IT functions staffed with trained cybersecurity professionals that report directly to the CTO. However, this is rarely necessary for smaller organisations although they should still have some form of cybersecurity expertise in the IT functions of the organisation.
Pre-emptive establishment of cybersecurity policies and training employees allow organisations to proactively manage the influence of cybersecurity on the organisations as simply reacting to cybersecurity threats is often insufficient and by the time a threat has had an effect and discovered valuable information can be leaked to outside parties or a malicious actor may gain inside knowledge of the organisations’ cybersecurity systems which allow them to perform more effective subsequent attacks.
Some jurisdictions also require organisations that handle large amounts of user data and personally identifiable information of customers and employees to adopt certain cybersecurity practices to ensure that their user base is protected. Noncompliance is likely to lead to legal issues as well as reputational damage regardless of legality. Strong cybersecurity awareness may be considered as a competitive advantage, and one which many customers may pay a premium for depending on the industry of operation. Even disregarding the influence of the law, a business is generally expected to prioritise the security of their data and failure to do so will result in loss of customer confidence which results in the organisation being favoured less overall as a competitor in the industry.