There have been many data security scares in the headlines over the past year. World companies have been hacked and had customer information stolen. This not only angers customers but breaks their trust in your brand. Even if you already invest in network security, you might need a bit more protection in today’s world. Here are five reasons you should take data security for your business seriously:

You Could Be Unknowingly Hacked for Years

Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell, shared a client’s story that really drives this point home. While his counter-threat unit was researching the new attack methods hackers were using, they found a server filled with sensitive data from some of the top companies in the world. They contacted the companies to let them know confidential information had been stolen from them, and one of the businesses hired Dell to secure their network.

The system was so compromised that it took Dell 45 days to clean it up. On the last day, the hackers responsible for the mess sent an email to the infected company pretending to be the IT firm and asked them to fill out a satisfaction survey. This was an attempted attack, but Dell caught it before they were fooled. The company had been hacked by them for two years without knowing it. They had confidential information stolen and stored elsewhere by the hackers.

Businesses of All Sizes Can Suffer from Cyber Attacks

Too many small and medium-sized businesses make the mistake of assuming that they’re not large enough to be hacked. However, hackers have been known to target any type of business both large and small. In particular, fast growing small businesses suffer the most from a cyber attack because they don’t have the resources to clean up the mess afterwards. A big company can at least handle the financial burden caused by it, although it’s not advised to ignore data security just because you’re in a good financial position. Why would you want to unnecessarily waste money and hurt your brand’s reputation?

Over 1 Trillion Cyber Attack Attempts Were Made in the Past Year

Michael Dell, revealed that they prevented 1.06 trillion cyber intrusions in the past year. Considering that hackers made over one trillion cyber attack attempts within a year, you can’t afford to leave your business unprotected. Cyber attacks are bouncing left and right at a quick pace. You don’t want to be the next unlucky business in the news for having sensitive data stolen.

Hackers Have Automated the Process

Another crucial reason you need to invest in data security for your business is hackers have automated the cyber intrusion process. Automated attacks are consistently being initiated without the hacker having to lift a finger. In January, Computer Weekly published an article warning business owners about the rise of automated bot attacks. Researchers at Radware predicted that “burst bot attacks” will be the fastest growing type of cyber attack in 2016. These automated attacks are good at diverting the security team’s attention in order to break into the system.

Protecting Customer Information is Your Responsibility

If your company has valuable information, such as customer information, then it is your responsibility to protect that data. You obviously can’t do it alone, so you must invest in data security to keep your business and customers safe from cyber attacks. You don’t want to damage the trust customers have in your brand.

Conclusion

Data security has become a necessity because of how many cyber attack attempts are sent out each day. Some of these intrusion attempts are automated. With poor data security, your business could fall victim to an automated infiltration. What’s worse is you may never know that you were hacked as is the case for some businesses. You should know when someone breaks into your system and what sensitive data they access.