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How Businesses Suffer from Cyber Threats

Keeping your business safe from cyberattacks should undoubtedly be one of your major priorities as a business owner. Therefore, it is imperative that you do research online and find out what measures you can take to mitigate cyberattacks. You may google some information on a security solution, such a search as “what is Webroot antivirus” or “how it can help” you defend your organization from the threat of cyber attacks. Such a strategy may be good for small business or top managers that may be targeted.

In this regard, a successful cyberattack can cause significant harm to any business. It can affect a business’s bottom line as well as its standing and consumer trust. Thus, it is better to know all the risks and be prepared.

Economic costs

Cyber-attacks’ damage can be classified into three categories: financial, reputational, and legal. First of all, cyberattacks usually result in substantial economic losses. These can arise from:

  • Theft of corporate information and financial information (e.g., bank details or payment card details)
  • Theft of funds from company accounts
  • Disruption to trading, a cyber attack can stop your business from carrying out online transactions.
  • If your clients learn that your company is under attack, you might end up losing business or contracts.
  • If you encounter a cyber attack as a business, you will end up incurring costs associated with repairing affected networks, systems, and devices.
  • In the case that you are dealing with ransomware, the perpetrator can encrypt your data, rendering it unusable. They will then demand a ransom payment in exchange for your data. In most cases, companies end up having to pay to get their data back.

You can also incur extortion losses if a hacker steals sensitive data (yours or someone else’s), and they start threatening to post it on the internet unless you pay them a ransom.

In the end, a cyber attack can result in some notification costs as well. Most states have regulations requiring you to notify persons whose data was breached while in your possession. In some cases, you might be required to inform the victims of what steps you are taking to deal with the situation.

Reputational damage

In public relations, trust is an essential element. If customers cannot trust that you will keep their information safe, they will most likely not want to do business with you. Cyber attacks can destroy your business’ reputation and erode the trust your clients have for you. This could potentially lead to:

  • Loss of customers, and therefore sales
  • Reduction in profits

The impact of reputational damage can even strain your suppliers’ relations or shake any relationships you may have with investors, partners, and other third parties vested in your business.

Legal consequences

Privacy and data protection laws require that you manage the security of all the personal data you hold as a business. If this data is deliberately or accidentally compromised, and you fail to deploy appropriate security measures, you could face severe fines and regulatory sanctions.

Also, if a cyber thief steals data from your system, and the data belongs to a client, the client may end up filing a lawsuit against your company. For example, say the perpetrator steals data about a client’s upcoming merger, and the latter fails to take place due to the data theft. The client might end up suing you for failure to protect their information, alleging that your negligence caused them to incur a financial loss.

How to defend yourself

The best way to avoid losses from cyberattacks would be to adopt a broad mix of both high-tech and low-tech techniques for fighting cyber threats; these include the following:

  • As a business, you should make daily backups and duplicates of your data. This will allow you to retrieve your files in the event of system compromise or ransomware.
  • Installing a high-end antivirus and regularly updating it. You should also make use of a network firewall and information encryption tools. This will allow you to scan for and counteract malware. Through these tools, you can also guard against denial-of-service attacks while keeping sensitive information safe.
  • You should routinely monitor and scan every device that’s connected to a network or computer system. As a further measure, you can also prohibit the use of removable media at your working place.
  • Another good measure would be to limit employee access to only the files, applications, and folders that they require to perform routine work tasks.

As a business, you should make sure that everyone is aware of the cyber attack threat. One effective way of ensuring this would be to provide regular, up-to-date training for staff at least every three months on the latest online trends in cybercrime. You can also engage in exercises that simulate real-world scenarios testing the ability of your employees to detect scammers and respond accordingly to fraudulent requests.

You should make use of multi-factor authentication before authorizing any major time-sensitive requests.

Lastly, after you have implemented your security measure, it is crucial to conduct ongoing vulnerability testing. These risk assessments will help you to seek out and effectively deal with possible points of failure before they arise.