Today’s economy is very much driven by data. It doesn’t matter what size business you operate or where you’re located, the data generated by your daily activities is integral to your overall success. You use data to determine your liquidity, project cash flows, manage expenses, understand your customers and much, much more.

Handling it properly is thus an incredible responsibility. It’s vital that a great deal of care is given towards how business data is gathered, stored, used, and secured, because the consequences of doing any of those irresponsibly are dire.

Business-ending dire, in fact.

Should you lose control of your customer data due to a breach, for example, you’re putting your customers at risk. Lose their credit card information, and they could become victims of credit card fraud. Lose their personal information, and they become vulnerable to identity theft – criminals impersonating them to open fraudulent accounts, steal funds from bank accounts, and worse.

In short, any of the bad things that could happen to your customers as a result of criminals getting hold of their data will be entirely your fault for not doing a better job of looking after their information. The legal ramifications aside, the reputational damage and loss of trust companies suffer can be devastating on its own, causing customers to take their business elsewhere and revenues to decline in the long term.

Add to that the risk of being sued and the costs of managing the aftermath of a breach, and it’s clear that even just the possibility of data breaches is to be taken extremely seriously lest you put your entire operation in jeopardy.

This is why legislation like the Protection of Private Information Act exists in South Africa and GDPR in Europe: to ensure companies have the proper digital protection measures in place to keep that information safe and secure. It’s a great idea in principle, however we live in an imperfect world, and breaches remain a risk due to non-compliance.

This is also why big tech companies like Microsoft are building products that are created right from the get-go with trust and compliance in mind.

For example, in Microsoft 365 – Microsoft’s all-in-one subscription service that bundles Office 365, various security functions, and Windows 10 together – you get access to a “Compliance Center”. This handy dashboard examines your infrastructure, users, and network configuration and flags up any potential compliance issues that you can then address.

So in addition to the excellent security that’s already built into Office and Windows, you get a tool that can help you spot any potential compliance issues before they can turn into something more serious.

And make no mistake, there are few things in the modern era that can cost your business more money than a data breach. That’s why it’s in your best interest to secure your infrastructure against even the possibility of it happening.

If you’re unsure of where to start on your journey to data security, get in touch with us today and we can help steer you in the right direction. You can head to Microsoft’s official site for more information on Microsoft 365.

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