Businesses can be prone to a kind of tunnel vision when it comes to computers. They look at them, and they see only the many useful tasks that a computer can perform, and the way that it can keep tremendous quantities of records without the need to reserve entire rooms for archives. What they sometimes fail to realize is that the more central the computer becomes to the mission of a business, the more vital it is to practice good computer internet security.
The most immediate problem that bad security practices can cause is the loss of critical data. If the systems become infected by a virus and data is lost, the costs can be immense. A business depends on their data to tell them how to fulfill contracts, and supply the plans by which products are built, and reproducing this information is expensive at best, and occasionally impossible.
Another potential problem with poor computer internet security practices is the impact that it can have on the reputation of a business. Even if no serious harm is done, a security incident with a business can project an image of carelessness to outsiders. In businesses that focus on selling anything that requires technological expertise, which is most of them in the modern age, it can give potential customers and partners the impression that the staff is incompetent.
A failure of security also has the potential to allow someone to steal customer data. If the thief is a rival firm, this could mean that customers are lured away by someone with privileged information on the details of the contracts with the customers, allowing the other businesses to make slightly better offers. If the criminal is stealing customer credit card data or other personal information, there could be legal implications with liability. In an extreme case, there may even be issues with government regulations regarding data such as the private medical information of patients.
While it can seem like an unnecessary expense when nothing is going wrong, maintaining proper computer security is actually critical to the success and stability of a business. Any time that there is a temptation to cut funding or other resources to a security measure, management should hold a serious discussion of what the potential implications of the move are. While the expense of maintaining good security can sometimes be high, the price of a failure is often catastrophic.