If you own a business which uses IT in any way then you have to ensure that your network and that your systems have the appropriate cybersecurity in order to best protect it. Bharat Bhise HNA analyst and leading expert in the field of cybercrime was kind enough to have a Skype chat with us this week around the number of small businesses who have failed to protect themselves. When I asked Bharat why he believed that this was the case he believes that the reason is that many business owners just aren’t aware of the damage that can be caused by a cyberattack.
Small businesses are very much at threat for these attacks because the attackers know that they are unlikely to have robust security and there is a much lower chance of getting caught after they have breached the systems of a small business. If you aren’t properly protected and you do get attacked, here are the consequences which you can expect.
If your business heavily uses computers and the internet then there is a very real chance that the business could be down for hours or days. This could have a direct impact on your ability to make sales, to process payments or to communicate with your customers. Whilst this is happening you will also find that you are paying for staff who have very little to do when the systems are down.
Cost of Repairs
The moment that you are being hacked you will have to call on the specialists to come in and try to stop the attack and to look into the damage that has been caused, and what information may have been obtained. This is going to be costly and you can expect to pay at least 10 times what security software would have cost you in the first place, which could well have prevented the attack from happening.
One consequence which you won’t be able to put a figure on is the hit which your reputation is going to take as a result of the attack. If customer information has been taken then you have a duty to let the customer know, and once word spreads that you didn’t properly secure customer’s information you are unlikely to see many new customers for a long time. The fact that your website has been taken down from an attack will also worry search engine crawlers and you can also expect your online reputation to be damaged as a result, and your search engine rankings will be damaged.
If you have copies of contracts, business plans and financial information about the business on your system then all of this will be up for grabs when you get attacked. Ask yourself honestly if you can afford for this information to be in the wrong hands.
These are just the main consequences of an attack, there are more and they are all real possibilities if you don’t properly secure your systems.