Cyberattacks are having a major impact on businesses around the world – especially start-ups and small organizations that have no cybersecurity measures in place. This isn’t just bad for businesses, but it’s bad for the economy, too.
If you look at the latest research, you’ll see that cybercrime costs the UK nearly £27 billion – yes, billion – annually. That’s just one country, though, as countless other big nations, from the US to China, also fall victim to thousands of cyberattacks a year.
This isn’t good, which is why your business needs to be more proactive instead of reactive. Usually, by the time you’ve been hit by a cyberattack, it’s too late to do anything about it. But by staying one step ahead of the cybercriminals, you can stop them in their tracks and prevent them from harming your business and your customers.
How Can I Protect My Business from Cyberattacks?
Here’s some exciting news: there are lots of ways you can protect your business from cybercrime:
- Provide phishing training to your employees
- Install strong firewalls across company devices
- Implement a zero-trust system throughout your organization
- Keep all your software updated with the latest security updates and bug fixes
- Instruct employees to turn on two-factor authentication across all their accounts
Also, another excellent strategy is to outsource your MDR (Managed Detection and Response) to a third-party company. They can then perform tasks such as “proactive threat hunting”, which will involve searching your business’s network for any signs of an attack and then eliminating the threat if there is one.
The best part about all of this is that cybersecurity is no longer an expensive luxury. Now, any business — big or small — can protect itself with different cybersecurity measures so that it can’t be harmed by any cybercriminals.
That said, why is it so important to stop cybercriminals from touching your business? The answer is simple: they can cause crazy amounts of damage. Generally, cybercriminals don’t have any moral conscience, so it doesn’t matter to them how badly they harm your business.
To give you a greater idea of this, let’s run through the five main ways that cyberattacks are harming businesses around the world.
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The biggest impact that cyberattacks have on businesses is financial loss. Sometimes, cybercriminals will steal hundreds of dollars. Other times, they’ll steal thousands or potentially even millions. It largely depends on the company in question and how much money they have to begin with.
For example, one common tactic used by cybercriminals is holding powerful businesses to ransom. What they do is encrypt all of a business’s valuable data and then demand ransom money in return in order to unlock it.
Similarly, the cybercriminals might also do things like steal customer bank details. In this scenario, it’s not just the business that can lose money, but the customers, too. Worst of all, it’s often very difficult to get the money back, especially if they don’t leave a trail behind them!
Your business likely has all kinds of valuable data stored in the cloud. If cybercriminals are able to hack into your network and know what they’re doing, there’s a good chance that they can get their hands on your data and completely destroy you. Sometimes, they’ll even do this for no reason at all. Other times, they’ll sell the data to the highest buyer on the dark web.
If customer data is compromised as a result of a cyberattack, it can lead to very unhappy customers. In many cases, customers will outright refuse to use a business’s services ever again and might even take legal action against it. If a business loses the legal battle, this then means even more financial losses, which makes the even situation worse.
Cyberattacks can ruin a business’s reputation beyond repair. This is something that was witnessed when Cambridge Water was the victim of a cyberattack. The bank account details of customers were stolen and then published on the dark web, which led to a huge uproar. Are future customers going to trust Cambridge Water with their bank accounts now? Probably not!
Sadly, this is the harsh reality of cybercrime. Even though it’s not the fault of the business, its reputation and brand image can take a huge hit. In many cases, they simply never recover from it.
Lastly, cyberattacks regularly cause businesses to experience lots of downtime. For example, if a business website is breached by a cyberattack, it can lead to the website being down for potentially days or weeks. If a business sells products through their website, this also means the loss of further revenue, making it a nightmare scenario.
Thanks for reading this guide on how cyberattacks impact businesses around the world. This year, make sure you focus on strengthening your business’s own cybersecurity measures so that it too doesn’t fall victim to a cyberattack.