The Basics

The importance of effective security to your business

Information is an essential resource for all businesses today and is the key to growth and success. Ensuring that the information held on your IT systems is secure is vitally important. Its availability, integrity and confidentiality may be critical for the continued success of your business. Your security can be breached in a number of ways, eg by system failure, theft, inappropriate usage, unauthorised access or computer viruses.

The impact of a security breach may be far greater than you would expect. Not only will the loss of sensitive or critical information directly affect your competitiveness and cash flow, it could also damage your reputation. It might take a business years to establish its good reputation and image, but a security breach could destroy this in a matter of hours.

Information also needs to be protected if you share it with other organisations. For many businesses, the Internet has replaced traditional paper-based ways of exchanging information. It can be sent and received faster, more frequently and in greater volume. However, the Internet brings its own security issues which businesses must consider. Some of the threats posed by hackers on the Internet include:

  • gaining access to sensitive data such as price lists, catalogues and valuable intellectual property, and altering, destroying or copying it
  • altering your website to damage your reputation or direct your customers to another site
  • gaining access to financial information about your business or your customers, for the purposes of fraud