5 Reasons Why Poor Business Communication is a Cybersecurity Issue

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Communication is the lifeblood of business.

Ideas won’t form without collaboration, and deals don’t get done without negotiation. Successful teams understand the importance of everyone being on the same page, and this “flow” won’t happen without dialogue. When it comes to cybersecurity, open communication within your organization is critical. Although clients and vendors are part of the equation, they have little to no involvement in your company’s internal workings.

Safety starts at the top, with business owners and CEOs disseminating crucial information down to everyone else. However, active communication is a two-way street . Staff members also need to let their managers know of any issues that may affect company safety. Poor communication between management and employees can result in a cybersecurity breakdown, which can be challenging to recover from.

The Lack of Communication Makes Small Companies Targets

Companies become targets when management fails to raise a company-wide cybersecurity
awareness campaign due to a lack of funding. According to Kaspersky , 36% of small
businesses suffered breaches in 2019. SMBs (small-medium) reported getting hit 48% of the time, while enterprise businesses experienced the most attacks at 53%.

Smaller companies getting attacked less doesn’t hide the fact that 83% don’t have a formal
cybersecurity plan, and 69% have no idea how to defend themselves, according to this U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission .

Criminals love lax security measures, and small businesses that do not have an IT budget suffer the most. Organizations that don’t have trained personnel to communicate the need for tighter cybersecurity run the risk of getting hacked. Being a small player doesn’t mean a cybercriminal will ignore you.

Poor Employee Communication Can Lead to Data Breaches

A whopping 60% of all data breaches happen due to unauthorized access from a current or
former employee or a third-party vendor. Companies become targets when management fails to raise a company-wide cybersecurity awareness campaign. Workers who don’t know any better may download a malicious file loaded with malware or click on an email link that takes them to a fake website.

Untrained employees wouldn’t know what a phishing attempt is, and what to do when faced with such an attack. They may also fall for social engineering attacks aimed at stealing login credentials to infiltrate the network. Identity theft statistics paint a grim picture of what cybercriminals can do with stolen personal data. Continuous education and training may help, but not all companies have the resources for IT security.

Ineffective Communication Methods Cause Delayed Security Response

Employees spend around 20% of their time digging through old emails or asking others for help. This number is a large chunk of their working hours lost, looking for answers. In the security dynamics of an organization, email slows things down to a crawl. There needs to be active communication with all employees so that everyone in the organization can handle issues autonomously and only escalate it to senior staff when required. Management also needs to give employees the proper communication tools to find answers quickly.

Communication Issues Lead to Higher Employee Turnover

One out of three employees will change jobs after six months. That’s the reality, and companies are experiencing one of the highest turnover rates across the board, no matter the industry. Businesses lose money when an employee walks because of the initial investment made.

Recruitment, training, and hiring all cost money, not to mention losing a considerable amount for lost productivity.

Forbes conducted a survey on job satisfaction, and two of the main topics that got high marks were internal communication and camaraderie. With 21% of millennials saying that they’ve switched jobs within the past year, and 47% of employees saying they’re going to look for a new job in the next year, it makes sense to always communicate with your staff. Skilled IT workers are hard to come by these days, and small businesses can’t afford to go a day without one.

No Communication Can Lead to Decreased Collaboration, Resentment, and Delays

It’s a known fact that employees who feel they can collaborate and share ideas make them
more loyal. Collaboration suffers when there’s little to no communication happening. One of two things can happen in this scenario. The first one is when an employee turns on you and either steals sensitive data or opens a backdoor for someone else.

The second consequence is your employee stays loyal, but since there’s no constructive
collaboration between the two of you, any ideas he or she may have about cybersecurity doesn’t get implemented on time.

Why Communication and Cybersecurity Go Hand in Hand

Data breaches and cyberattacks will happen – it’s not even a matter of “if” anymore. An attack will have a tremendous negative impact on your business if you’re not prepared to deal with it. The average cost of a cyberattack today is $4.6 million, enough to wipe out many small businesses.

It would be best if you communicated with everyone in your organization from the top down. Make sure they receive the appropriate cybersecurity awareness and education training. Hiring a full time IT professional can help your safety efforts. Paying for an independent contractor to test your system and conduct a risk assessment can help your team because they will find any gaps your people missed.

If hiring an IT officer isn’t feasible, you can always do it yourself by communicating proper
computer hygiene like strong passwords, updating software, and staying safe online.

David Lukic David Lukić is an information privacy, security and compliance consultant at idstrong.com. The passion to make cyber security accessible and interesting has led David to share all the knowledge he has.

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