Footing the Bill for Cybercrime
The digital era has brought about incredible opportunities for businesses to improve their operations and increase their efficiency and efficacy. The convenience that technology offers cannot be argued but, as is the case with most disruptive innovations, while there are a lot of positives that can be drawn from technology there is also a downside – cybercrime. Cybersecurity is one of those things that seem like an unnecessary luxury that you do not need, until you actually need it; however, once the need does arise it is too late and the cost of repairing the damage, if it can be repaired, is often much greater than the cost of preventing it.
It is estimated that in 2017 cybercrime cost African countries US$3.5 billion. Unfortunately, many businesses in Africa do not fully realise the risk and cost of cybercrime with over 90 percent of organisations on the continent still lacking adequate cybersecurity. Little consideration is given to the recovery costs that go beyond fixing your systems or website, there can be regulatory fines, forensic investigation expenses and legal fees as well. Bouncing back from a security breach is not that simple and definitely not cheap.
Besides the monetary costs being hacked on any scale, whether it is the defacement of your website or having millions stolen from your company, is simply not a good look. Customers trust service providers with sensitive information and having your security compromised can have devastating effects on the trust you have spent massive resources building. Customers and other stakeholders need to feel secure in dealing with your organisation, especially when doing so through digital platforms, because any vulnerabilities in your systems do not just pose a risk to you but to them personally as well. The last thing you want is for your reputation to be marred resulting in loss of potential business and having to invest in rebuilding your image.
Additionally, the value of your business’ own confidential information, such as trade secrets, could potentially be wiped out. Absence of adequate cybersecurity systems puts businesses at risk of missing future opportunities and diminishing competitive advantage, which could mean losing market share and possibly millions in investor returns. Unfortunately, no non-disclosure agreement can protect you once you have been compromised; your best bet is to stop it from happening in the first place.
Cybercrime can take a number of forms and while being prudent and vigilant can prevent you from falling into some traps other traps do not require action at all on your part for you to find yourself in them (other than your inaction in putting the right cybersecurity measures in place). At Baker Tilly Digital, we understand that just as the systems and information that have to be protected is unique for each organisation, cybersecurity solutions also have to be tailored to each client’s need. Remember, prevention is better, and less costly, than repair and as the digital age continues to progress the need for proper security is not a question of “if” it is a question of “when”, and the answer is – right now.