70 million records breached at Target Corporation, 100,000 taxpayer accounts compromised through the “Get Transcript” application on IRS.gov, 14 million Federal employees’ files accessed by Chinese hackers, and you haven’t done anything about cybersecurity in your organization?
It may not be a topic you’d expect to see on the MarketPoint blog, but cybersecurity is fast becoming a major issue in organizational branding.
Cybersecurity affects everyone, digitally active or not. Tax records, employment records, financial records and more are all stored digitally by Federal and State governments, employers, banks, creditors, and even social media. If you are alive, you are vulnerable; if you are dead, you may still be vulnerable. Customers in every sector of business – including CPG, B2B, Education, Service Industries, and Nonprofits – are beginning to ask the question, “Why should I share my personal or financial information with any institution?”
The Association of Financial Professionals reports that more than 60% of companies have been the victim of an attempted cyber-attack. CNN reports that 47% of American adults had their personal information exposed by hackers in 2014 alone. On a global basis, Intel Security (McAfee) estimates the loss to businesses somewhere between $375-$575 billion each year, resulting in a net loss of 200,000 American jobs.
Yet most organizations have done comparatively little to protect themselves, their intellectual property, or their customer records from cyber theft. Research performed by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec has shown that while 66% of small businesses are dependent on the Internet for their day-to-day operations, and 69% handle sensitive information, including customer data, over three-quarters do not have a written employee internet security policy, two-thirds allow USB devices in the workplace, and only half wipe their hard drives before disposing of them.
Something as simple as a security breach can have devastating implications for your customer relations and your brand, not to mention huge financial liabilities. How does your organization compare to others? And what can you do to protect yourself? You’ll find the answers in this month’s Infographic: Cybersecurity in America.