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    Why Cybersecurity is Important in Maintaining Brand Reputation

    Former con-artist turned FBI Consultant, and now ThreatAdvice’s spokesperson, Frank Abagnale explains how the number of criminals has increased exponentially because cybercrimes are so easy to commit. “Crime on the darknet has become so commoditized that you can go on there and even if you don't have a technical acumen or capability, you can contract with somebody who does. Because of the internet, you can change into hundreds of different identities."

    Cybercrime has changed the business world and opened it up to various types of attacks. While much of the focus has been put on the physical cost of such an attack, this article will look at how a brand's reputation is also affected by a cyber security breach.

    The proliferation of online crime has made it necessary for businesses to make sure their internal systems are as impenetrable as possible. Today, brands need to have the ability to keep their clients' data secure. Take marketing for example, with Social Media Today noting that marketing departments collect a lot of data from their customers, and if hackers gain access to that information then the brand will be tarnished due to the break in trust. Information Security Forum managing director Steve Durbin told the site: “A brand's reputation is likely to be the most visibly damaged asset in the aftermath of a breach. We're not just talking about personal information and identity theft any more. High-level corporate secrets, vital infrastructure, and brand image are constantly under attack.”

    Security Magazine points out that the harm done to a brand’s reputation is hard to reverse and can permanently damage the company. Good cybersecurity is necessary because it only takes the appearance of negligence, repeat attacks, or unpredictable fallout to unravel a good company reputation that took years to build.

    Every organization should assume that they will eventually fall victim to cyber attacks. Resilience and vigilance are the two most effective ways to build defenses and plan for an effective response. While the breach itself can cause significant damage, CPO Magazine explains that a company’s response is just as critical, especially when it comes to protecting corporate reputation and restoring consumer confidence. Today’s 24-hour news cycle and public access to real time information means that any breach or attack will be widely publicized. A brand needs to get ahead of the news and show that they are taking the necessary steps to solve the problem.
    While it is important to have a reaction strategy, the best method to ensure a brand protects it reputation is by avoiding attacks in the first place. Companies must have a large budget and team dedicated to cybersecurity. To get a sense of the scale of the problem, cybersecurity spending is predicted to reach $113.7 billion by 2022. This demonstrates why businesses need to spend money on services that will enable them to constantly stay ahead of cyber criminals, which means investing in cybersecurity specialists. A company should make sure that they are able to offer a good package, as competition for experts is fierce due to the global skills shortage. For instance, cybersecurity experts are able to demand a higher salary. A post by Maryville University reveals that the salary for cybersecurity specialists is $6,500 more per year than regular IT workers. Businesses who take shortcuts and don’t invest in the higher costs could lose a lot more in the long run.

    But if a company does not have a big enough budget to cover cybersecurity specialists, they can invest in a virtual Chief Information Security Officer or a vCISO, like the NXTsoft vCISO solution. It's a reliable, effective, and budget-friendly security officer solution that does not compromise on quality.
    After all, a company that mishandles a cybersecurity attack will find it hard to recover their public perception. The loss of trust will likely end up costing the company a lot more than the investment it would have taken to prevent the attack. This is why a brand must consider its reputation when it plans its cybersecurity strategy.