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Business Security: The Real Dangers of Cyber Attacks

Posted on Jun 24, 2021 7:57 am

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated just how vital our IT systems are in the world of modern business. It’s no exaggeration to say that most businesses simply couldn’t function without their cyber capabilities. Despite this, many companies fail to make the necessary investments in their business security and cybersecurity infrastructure.

This could have a devastating impact on your company. Data loss could lead to legal problems, damage to your reputation, and hours of work hours wasted. 

Not investing time and money into your cybersecurity strategy is simply an accident waiting to happen. This article lists some of the most common business security dangers that you need to be aware of.

Why Do Cyber Attacks Occur?

One of the main reasons that cyberattacks happen is because companies get complacent. Too often, decision-makers take a reactive rather than a proactive attitude. The prevailing logic often is, “we’ve never been hacked, so why worry about it?”

Sadly, this kind of thinking can quickly backfire. Once a cyberattack happens, the decision-makers see firsthand why it’s so important to prevent them. Unfortunately, by that point, it’s often too late. 

Loss of Electronic Data

One of the big risks of cyberattacks is data loss. For many businesses, your data is the lifeblood of your operation. It’s likely that your company simply couldn’t function without things like customer and product data. 

Some companies have even had to shut down after facing data loss. There are many ways that a cyberattack could cause your company to lose its data. For example, you might be a victim of a ransomware attack

This kind of malware encrypts the contents of hard drives and demands that users pay a ransom to unlock the files. Usually, the attackers will require you to purchase a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to pay. This means the attackers can stay anonymous. 

The trouble is, paying doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get your files back. The decryption process is an extra step in coding the malware, so why would an attacker bother when they’re getting your money regardless?

Loss of Income

Modern businesses are totally dependent on IT infrastructure. If anything happens that renders computers or your network inoperable. It could have a devastating impact on your company. 

Malware doesn’t even need to be that devastating to cause a significant loss of income. In some cases, you might simply need to reinstall the operating system on affected PCs. This isn’t difficult to do, but it takes time. 

While the computers are being fixed, you’ll likely have employees who have nothing to do but wait until their system is back online. If you want to avoid loss of income on wasted hours, you need to have good cybersecurity practices in place.

Extra Costs

Not only can cyberattacks waste time, but they can also lead to extra costs for your company. For example, some malware might deliberately fry computer components. If this happens, you might have to buy new workstations for your staff. 

Some malware can lead to unexpected expenses in more insidious ways. For example, some hackers might install cryptocurrency mining software on workstations without your knowledge. 

Cryptocurrency mining is a very resource-intensive process. This means it uses a lot of electricity. If you’re a large company, such an attack might go unnoticed for a while, costing you a fortune in electricity bills. 

While you may notice your computer slowing down when this kind of malware is running, many versions are quite sophisticated. The mining only happens when the computer isn’t doing any intensive activity, meaning it can run for a long time without being found.

Legal Consequences

Another issue for your company is that you could potentially face legal consequences as well as monetary costs. If you’re dealing with customer data, you have a legal obligation to take the necessary steps to protect it. 

If customer data such as email addresses and passwords are leaked, it could cause serious problems for your customers. This could lead to legal action being taken against your company. You might have to pay fines, or you might have to pay compensation to your customers. 

Not only will this cost money, but it will also take up a lot of your time and stop you from working on other projects. 

Notification Costs

Another significant challenge you will face after a data breach is the notification costs. The law requires that you notify everyone whose data may have been compromised. 

Sometimes, this may involve contacting thousands of people. This level of notification is a serious project that will have some high costs for your company. For example, talent that may have been working on profitable projects will have to switch to working on notifying customers of the breach. 

Reputation Damage

Not all damage after a cyberattack is monetary. Being a victim of a significant cyber attack could have a devastating effect on your companies reputation. People are becoming more and more conscious about keeping their data safe. 

No one wants to have their password leaked online because a company they trusted was hacked. The bad publicity from a cyberattack means that you and your team will be on “damage control” for the foreseeable future. 

This could be extremely disruptive to any long-term projects your company was working on, and could also cause many issues for your company far into the future. 

For example, it could damage your search engine optimization strategy. If you’ve been involved in a significant data breach, news articles about the incident might be among the first things to pop up when you search for your organization online. 

In business, your reputation is everything. You can’t afford to lose your good name because of a data breach. 

How to Protect Your Company

Cybersecurity is an incredibly complex topic. You can’t expect to know everything you need to know about the subject if you’re not a cybersecurity professional. For this reason, you should always work with a professional security firm to safeguard your company data and IT infrastructure. 

A cybersecurity company can do an in-depth analysis of your organization to establish all of the potential risk factors. They can then implement things like firewalls, antivirus software, and data backups. 

In some cases, having the proper defense in place can totally mitigate a cyber attack. Let’s say you’re faced with a ransomware attack and critical data has been encrypted. While this attack could’ve been devastating, a good cybersecurity company would set up automated backup systems. 

This means that you’d simply revert back to the latest backup and carry on again like nothing happened. As you can see, cybersecurity firms can make a huge difference to your company.

Penetration Testing

A big advantage of working with a professional cybersecurity company is that they know how hackers think. They can put this knowledge to use by running penetration testing. This means they act like a hacker and try to attack your organization. 

This enables them to identify and weak points in your organization and come up with an appropriate solution. This kind of testing is likely to reveal security flaws with your organization that you never would’ve imagined.

Penetration testing may be done by appointment, or it might even be done at random. This enables security firms to truly figure out the extent of your organizational vulnerabilities. 

Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are some of the biggest dangers your company faces, but many organizations don’t even consider them. A social engineering attack involves using social trickery to do anything to harm your company. 

For example, an attacker might call up an employee claiming to be from IT support. They’ll then ask the victim to give up their password. In many cases, the victim will find this so convincing that they’ll actually give up the password. 

These kinds of attacks are dangerous because even the most expensive antivirus and firewall software is useless. Organizations are vulnerable to this kind of attack because they think they’re safe by investing in security infrastructure. 

Not only will a good cybersecurity firm consider software and hardware security, but they’ll also consider organizational security. They might, for instance, do social engineering variants of penetration testing to make sure your organization isn’t susceptible to this kind of attack. 

The Importance of Business Security

As you can see, with so much at stake, you simply can’t afford not to focus on business security. A hack on your organization could have devastating consequences for your company. 

Many companies only start truly investing in cybersecurity and penetration testing when it’s already too late. The smart decision is to start investing now before hackers can do any serious damage. 

If you want to work with a company that can take care of all your digital business security needs, contact us today

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