Negative publicity likely the biggest consequence of data breaches

Sep 26th, 2013 / Category: Managed File Transfer

As businesses come to rely increasingly on digital data to conduct operations and gain insight into their industries, data security has become a critical concern. The more information that firms possess, the more viable a target they become, and cyberattackers are constantly developing new strategies for infiltrating organizations' defenses to steal valuable data. Additionally, as employees handle an ever-greater amount of data to perform their jobs, the risk that this information will be inadvertently exposed grows.

There are many consequences when such data breaches occur. However, arguably the most significant is not the direct financial losses or fines that these incidents often lead to, but rather the negative publicity that they receive. This attention can prove devastating for firms, and is a powerful reason why businesses in every industry should invest in secure file transfer and related data protection solutions.

Bad publicity
One of the most common expressions in the world of public relations is "all publicity is good publicity." But an examination of any recent data breach will quickly reveal that there are certainly exceptions to this rule.

Hardly a day goes by without a data breach making the news in some part of the country. There are several reasons why such incidents are so widely reported. First is the simple fact that they are so frequent. For all of the reasons listed above, data breaches are a common occurrence for many firms. And while awareness of the need to protect corporate data is growing, a large number of businesses have still yet to adopt more secure solutions and strategies.

Second, the general public is very interested in news of data breaches as they are becoming increasingly aware of how such incidents may affect them personally. Most people have heard horror stories of people experiencing identity theft and fraud as a result of personal data exposure, and they are sensitive that such an incident may happen to them, as well. They are consequently engaged by stories that cover data breaches, motivating news agencies to provide coverage when these events occur.

The consequences of negative publicity following data breaches can be severe. Most notably, consumers, both existing and potential, will be unlikely to patronize an organization if they do not believe it has the ability or willingness to adequately protect their sensitive information. They will instead turn to competitors that have developed reputations for being better able to guarantee data security.

Further exacerbating this issue is the fact that the impact of this publicity will likely be long-lasting. Every time a potential customer performs an Internet search for the company, he or she will be likely to come across web results detailing the data breach. Improving the organization's image online can be a time-consuming and expensive effort.

That is why it is so much better for firms to embrace data protection solutions that can prevent data breaches from occurring in the first place. Secure file transfer tools are essential in this regard. These resources enable the easy distribution of company data without increasing the risk of loss or exposure.