Why A Cyber Attack Could Be Very Bad News For Your Business

It’s something we hear about pretty often these days with cyberattacks being launched from all over the world for all kinds of reasons. Some allegedly try to influence local politics, while others are just after users’ money. But the ones that affect businesses can be most damaging of all.

They’re on the increase too. A report from the UK insurance company Hiscock has shown that 72% of larger businesses in the US had experienced a cyberattack of some kind in 2017 with 47% of these being affected twice or more. But while big business might be the main target for attacks, it’s the smaller enterprises that are most seriously affected by them, because of the lack of infrastructure and limited funds to resolve the issues that arise for them. So it pays to know what these attacks could do to your business, and you should certainly take steps to protect yourself. Here is a breakdown of why.

You can lose customer trust: If you’re subject to a web scraper attack designed to extract data without your consent, and that information relates to your customers there is a strong possibility that their trust in you will be lost forever – and so will their custom. Even major brands such as Craigslist have faced this problem. And, as all businesses know, attracting new customers is always going to be harder and more expensive than holding on to existing ones. What’s worse, misappropriated customer or product data can also be sold to your competitors to help their businesses do better.

Your bottom line will take a hit: Closely related to the previous point and the potential loss of custom, your profits are undoubtedly going to be affected by any cyberattack. Not only will there be the loss of custom to worry about, you might well have to reduce prices or offer discounts to encourage new business to come to you. An attack will also disrupt your business for hours, or even days. Even if the attack is mitigated, it can mean that your website and servers are unreliable or offline and even if you can still operate, it will be at well under your normal capacity.

 


Copyright, Patent, or Trademark?” (CC BY 2.0) by BusinessSarah

You could lose intellectual property: If yours is a business that deals in intellectual property and it’s lost through an attack, then its value will immediately go down. Plus the smaller your company is, the bigger the damage could be. For example, if you’ve been developing a new or unique product and your idea falls into the hands of a competitor it could even spell the end of your business.

Your insurance costs will rise: The last few years, the rise of widespread cyber and ransomware attacks have meant that insurance premiums to cover you in case it happens to you have already risen sharply. But, like all insurance, if you’re a victim it means that when you come to renew cover, the cost will be even higher still. Again, this will mean your profits will take a hit.

But it’s not all doom and there are things you can do to minimize the risk including training your staff to spot signs of attack and having a sound information security policy in place. These, plus keeping up to date with the technology to protect against attacks, will put you and your business in a good place to fight off the fraudsters today and into the future.

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