Do I really need to worry about a potential cyber attack?
The majority of business owners will realise a cyber security breach within their organisation will result in some negative outcomes. Most business leaders will automatically understand that some of these outcomes will likely result in a negative financial impact on their organisation, but the hard truth is that the implications go way beyond that. In this article we will explore some of the wider effects that should be considered.
Why would cyber criminals target my organisation?
Let’s explore a bit of a myth. “My data isn’t particularly valuable or interesting, so I won’t be a target”. It’s quite easy to understand why some business leaders have this belief. However there are a couple of other factors at play here. Firstly, the chances are that your organisation actually holds more valuable data than you realise. Personal records for your staff, financial data for your business, transactional records and contact details for your customers, intellectual property for your products, and more.
We also have to consider how connected the world is these days. Your business may not be the true target of the cyber attack, but you could still suffer. We all work with suppliers, partners and customers, and in some electronic way are likely connected with these organisations, who are in turn also connected with other organisations. Hackers and cyber criminals will often target businesses several steps into the supply chain in order to try and exploit vulnerabilities that may give them access to the true target.
The latest Official Statistics Cyber Security Breaches Survey demonstrates the level of risk involved. 4 in 10 (40%) businesses have reported a cyber security breach of some kind during the last 12 months, 3 in 10 charities (30%) also reported an incident in the same period. Any business or organisation could be the victim of a cyber attack, so it is vital that you take some steps to make your business more resilient.
What are the implications of being hacked?
Loss of valuable data, your data and your customers’
Many cyber attacks result in your valuable data being taken. This could potentially be sold on by the hackers. This results in you having to manage a personal data breach that involves your own staff and your customers. The data may also be lost, preventing you from accessing it and resulting in other operational difficulties.
Irreparable damage to the reputation of your business
If data is breached, you will be obliged to inform those involved, staff, customers, suppliers and any other parties. This will undoubtedly result in severe damage to the reputation of your business. Trust is everything when trading with other businesses, and a record of handling data poorly will make future opportunities extremely challenging.
Professional data recovery services
There are specialist providers that can work with you following an attack in order to attempt to recover the data that has been lost. These providers have specialist tools they can use to support their efforts, but there are no guarantees. Of course these services will come at a cost to your organisation.
Inability to effectively operate your business
Many businesses will find themselves unable to operate in a normal way for some period after being the victim of a cyber attack. This means a possible period where you are unable to generate any income.
Unable to access data and critical systems
Being unable to access the lost data and possibly being in a position where some of your systems are inoperable means your business effectively comes to a halt.
Internal resource diverted to deal with the after effects
Your team members will be working to try and resolve issues that have been caused, rather than performing the day to day duties they are employed to carry out. A massive loss in productivity that will be unavoidable after an attack.
Loss of customers
Unfortunately, for various reasons you are likely to lose some customers. Some will leave because they can’t wait for you to fix things, others will go elsewhere due to the reputational damage that has been done.
Insurance premium increases
With an increase in global cyber attacks, insurance premiums are already on the rise. Having to claim, or tell your new provider you were previously the victim of an attack will only exacerbate this.
Devaluation of your business and trading name
Reputational damage, and loss of customers will likely result in the value of your business and your brand decreasing.
Marketing and PR in reputation recovery
Re-building your reputation, and creating trust will require a lot of time and effort in your marketing and PR efforts. Another cost to your organisation.
As you can see, the impact of doing nothing to protect yourself from a cyber attack is high! You may be surprised though, it’s quite easy, and affordable to do something about this. Act now! Work with our cyber security specialists who will review your systems, implement policies, provide staff training, and get you ready for Cyber Essentials certification, and your business will be far more resilient. We are now able to offer affordable pay monthly packages too.
If you have any questions, our team are ready and waiting to help.