4 Ways a Cyber-attack Can Affect Your Business
A successful cyber-attack can cause major damage to your business. It can affect your bottom line, as well as your business’ standing and consumer trust.
Companies lost $1.8 billion to cybercrime in 2019. Few businesses are safe, and big companies with a big online presence are heavily targeted. Companies in the energy, financial services, manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceutical sectors endured the heaviest losses.
As cyber-crime becomes more lucrative, cyber-attacks are more likely to occur. It’s important to understand the short-term and long-term effects cyber-attacks could have on your business. According to luminablog.co.uk, here is a look at 4 ways cybercrime can hamper businesses today.
Direct financial costs are perhaps the most obvious consequence of many attacks, especially where money is the main target, for example, unauthorized or fraudulent transfers, or ransom payments after a ransomware infection. Fines and damage payments also fall under this category. However, practically all the consequences of a cyberattack can have their own financial cost and significant impact on your bottom line.
Also, companies that want to see office software protection platforms and protect themselves from online thieves have to pull out their wallets to do so.
Loss of Productivity
As with any other outage, the main impact of a cyberattack is lost productivity, potentially all across the organization. This starts with staff time directly consumed by the incident – following an attack, routine IT work is likely to grind to a halt. Even after normal operations resume, you will still need your IT staff to perform cleanup, determine the root cause, fix vulnerabilities, and reinforce security, or to assist external assets in this process.
Even as IT personnel are dealing with the technical side, other staff may be left without access to business-critical systems and processes. Depending on the type and scope of the attack, this can mean anything from minor disruptions and delays to a total failure of all business processes. Besides ongoing financial costs, lost productivity can undermine future growth or even jeopardize business continuity.
Altered Business Practices
Cybercrime can impact businesses in more than just financial ways. Companies have to rethink how they collect and store information to ensure that sensitive information isn’t vulnerable. Many companies have stopped storing customers’ financial and personal information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and birth dates.
Some companies have shut down their online stores out of concern they cannot adequately protect against cyberattacks. Customers are also more interested in knowing how the businesses they deal with handle security issues, and they are more likely to patronize businesses that are up front and vocal about the protections they have installed.
Apart from immediate costs, a cyberattack can also have less obvious long-term consequences related to reputation damage, especially for data breaches. Many organizations initially try to conceal information about attacks and breaches to minimize harm to their reputation, but this strategy can easily backfire. If the incident is exposed anyway, initial attempts to cover it up can exacerbate reputation damage and, crucially, loss of trust.
Trust is probably the most important yet most fragile aspect of any partnership or customer relationship. Customers and partners that have trusted you with their business and data can turn away in anger, and persuading them to stay or return will not be easy. This is especially true in highly competitive markets with multiple players offering similar products and terms. And as with any PR crisis, a cyberattack may also tarnish your brand image, with all associated consequences.
The Bottom Line
Protecting a business against cyberattacks is costly and can impact the relationship between the company and its customers. As cybercrime becomes more sophisticated, businesses will have to stay one step ahead.