Data is a great entry point to digital transformation and underpins many of the choices you will make when embarking on a transformational project.
Last month, I talked about the role of data governance in protecting your business and the opportunities of better understanding your data.
Investing in a detailed review and analysis of your data is key in digital transformation. This type of insight will help you get closer to your customers, improve your products and services and even highlight potential new revenue streams.
Such an investment will also help you implement the proper processes and receive the credentials you need to demonstrate your commitment to safeguarding your business and your customers.
The Cost of a Data Breach
That being said, I understand that data is a grey area for many business owners and the reality is that many businesses have potential breaches occurring as we speak, waiting to surface.
To demonstrate that bigger organisations are as much at risk as smaller comes the news that a Canadian university has had to pay over £10,000 pounds to hackers following a ransomware attack which scrambled emails and other crucial files.
The university’s own IT teams were unable to break the ransomware, resulting in the payment of the amount demanded.
Although this is an extreme example, it highlights the risks for any size of business.
Your Biggest Data Threat
Unfortunately, one of the biggest digital risks in your business is your employees.
I’ve worked with businesses where, through no fault of their own, people had little to no training in data security. Consequently, they weren’t able to appreciate the importance of following security protocols and the potential pitfalls of failing to do so.
Moreover, many business owners view data security as the preserve of their IT teams, leaving important insights siloed.
The reality is that mitigating digital risk should be the responsibility of everyone, right across the business.
Mitigating the Risk Through Training
For many businesses the equal and opposite reaction to such a threat is to lock everything down, restricting access to all but a trusted IT team. For me, this isn’t the answer either.
Such a severe lockdown won’t educate your teams on the importance of data security.
Employees should have appropriate training so that everyone understands their role in securing the business, from IT team members to back office and admin teams.
Not only is sharing this information a key cultural requirement for digital transformation, many data governance standards cannot be awarded unless you can demonstrate this understanding across your business.
Failing to get to grips with data security leaves you open to costly breaches, either in terms of money or reputation or both, and can even hand over a competitive advantage to your peers.
Protect yourself and your customers by gaining a better understanding of data risks alive within your business today, and taking your teams on a transformational journey with you.
As ever, I welcome your feedback, so tweet me @DigiDiscern with your thoughts.
Discerning Digital is one of the UK’s first dedicated digital transformation consultancies, specialising in helping businesses unlock their online potential.