If you want one example of why data security is important, consider this: According to Statista, 79 zettabytes (a trillion gigabytes) of data will be created in 2021 — and with that much data out there, lots of it is bound to be stolen, abused, or otherwise attacked. Businesses need to secure that information somehow.

The Ponemon Institute found that organizations spent $3.86 million in 2020 recovering from data security breaches. These numbers prove that it’s more important than ever to protect your personal data from cyber attacks.

This article will walk you through the consequences of not maintaining data security and the major benefits of data security in this digital age.

What Is Data Security Management?

Data security management refers to policies and procedures that protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of information and security systems. Data security management focuses on protecting data, like personally identifiable information and business-critical intellectual property.

Businesses should not see this as a one-time exercise. Rather, data security management is a continuous process requiring a regular evaluation of protective measures and adaptation. In essence, data security management secures your organization’s information assets and makes it easy to show any external party your solid security policy.

Why Is Data Security Important to a Business?

Data security is important foremost because it assures business continuity. Without good security, attackers could steal valuable information or lock out your systems in a ransomware attack, and everything grinds to a halt.

Since cybersecurity is, therefore, a key component of an organization’s business continuity strategy, the protection of sensitive data has to be taken into account.

Second, businesses typically have a legal obligation to prevent unauthorized access to data — especially personal data customers provide to you. If you don’t have a data security strategy in place, a security breach may occur. That could lead to costly regulatory enforcement actions and loss of trust among your customers.

Every business today captures different types of data, such as personal, health, or behavioral information; and financial data such as credit card details. When a business overlooks implementing data security measures, data could fall into the hands of cyber criminals and end up being used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft or extortion.

What Are the Consequences of Not Maintaining Data Security?

A survey conducted by Kaspersky Labs found that 57 percent of respondents stated they do not have a cybersecurity strategy in place. This number makes it clear that businesses don’t fully grasp the destructive repercussions that improper data security can bring.

Data breaches put an organization’s reputation at risk. Worse, reputation is almost impossible to fix once the public realizes that a business is not safeguarding its network and consumers from a security attack.

Operational downtime is another consequence. In one Gartner survey, 81 percent of participants said that one hour of downtime cost their business a hefty $300,000.

Staying abreast of regulatory requirements around data security, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), may seem like an arduous task. But enhancing information security and data privacy procedures is essential for protecting your organization from cyber threats.

Detect Security Risks and Safeguard Sensitive Data with ZenGRC

Data leaks plague organizations in every sector. It’s no surprise, then, that security teams are looking for security solutions that can effectively prevent leaks before the leaks occur.

Reciprocity offers ZenGRC, which allows you to identify areas of high risk before that risk has manifested as a real danger. To see how ZenGRC data security capabilities will help you gain greater command of your sensitive data, schedule a free demo today.