by Allison Zimmer, Communications Specialist, Commercial Excellence, Xerox
Cybersecurity isn’t a new issue, but it’s one that’s gaining attention. Businesses of all sizes are realizing the increasing importance of protecting their critical data, and for good reason. As we’ve written before, the cost of cybercrime is expected to rise to $6 trillion by 2021 according to market research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. And it’s a landscape that is constantly changing, which means your strategies for addressing it need to keep up.
Nowhere is cybersecurity a hotter topic than in the small and midsize business (SMB) market. A survey by Keeper Security and Ponemon Institute found that half of all small businesses in 2016 had experienced a security breach within the past year, and there’s evidence that hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses, in no small part because SMBs tend to be the least prepared.
So, let’s look at how a security breach might impact the way a small business operates day to day, and see if you can recognize yourself in their challenges.
Real Estate Firms Face Multiple Security Threats
A real estate transaction typically requires you to offer up your most sensitive information, from your social security number to your annual income and credit score. What’s more, there’s a large sum of money changing hands. Imagine the risk to your agent’s and their business if that data were to be breached.
For real estate firms, a breach seriously threatens the critical trust relationship between buyers/sellers and their agents. It’s also more common than you might think. While undercover hackers accessing your system are the risk most people imagine first, it isn’t the only one, or even the most common.
Agents have reported that they’ve experienced people posing as closing agents, property managers or even homeowners in order to steal confidential information or funds. But even simple human error can cause a breach that can do damage. A team member leaving sensitive information in the printer tray, or simply misplacing a single document during a transaction can derail a relationship and break the trust the agent/broker has worked hard to establish.
Mobile Technology Is Having a Huge Impact on the Legal Industry
What about the law firm handling your transaction? The legal industry is known for being paper intensive (just ask anyone who has ever signed a contract). And naturally, the information contained in those piles of papers is highly sensitive. Not only do these documents need to be securely stored and managed, but legal teams also need to be able to securely transfer them outside the office, all while ensuring they are easily accessible at a moment’s notice.
If not, cases can be delayed, client information can be compromised, and the entire office comes to a screeching halt. A security breach from a misplaced document, an improperly accessed system, or a non-secure transfer can cost a small firm time, money, and damage the client relationship irretrievably.
Just imagine the damage a breach could do to your relationship with your customers. Think about the kind of data you store. What would happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands? How would that affect your office productivity? What would it do to your relationship with your customers? What would the tangible costs be – and would you be able to recover? With the average cost per lost or stolen record is $154 (and a whopping $363 in the healthcare industry), imagine how quickly the costs of a breach can add up.