Regardless of the size of your business, it is a general rule of thumb to incorporate cybersecurity measures within the business's ecosystem. However, no system can be 100% secure regardless of the security measures in place. That said, let us see what are some of the impacts of a cybersecurity breach on your business and highlight a little on measures we can take to improve security and control the impact of a breach on your business.
Alteration of business operations
Among the common impacts of cyber-attacks is the alternation of the normal or rather the usual business operations. This impact can both be long-term or short-term. For instance, in the case of DOS (Denial of Service) or DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, the operations can be disrupted by having the resources in use unavailable for a given period. Most of these DOS, DDOS attacks last for short periods but can prolong to 24hrs or more depending on the severity of the attack or how it is mitigated. This affects the company as well as its users who rely on the resources. This impact also contributes to the next impact, which is the damage of reputation.
Damage of Reputation
Every business needs to convince its clients that is the best there is, and that the client is in good hands performing business with the company. The clients usually have concerns about how secure their information is with the business, given that at some point, they get to share their personal data with the business. However, once a breach occurs, by law, it is required of the company to inform the clients whose information has been compromised on the full extent of the breach and how it may affect them as well as the next actions to take. This greatly affects the reputation of the company as the clients start to get doubts about the safety of their data, leading the company to lose lots of clients.
Financial Impacts (Incurred cost and expenses and loss of revenue.)
Incurring costs after a cyber attack is one of the common impacts of security breaches on businesses. According to the 2020 Data breach investigation report by Verizon indicated that 86% of the breaches in 2020 were financially motivated. These attacks can cost the business financially for instance costs used to settle ransom from ransomware attacks. Other costs can be incurred through the restoration activities the business does to fix damages done by the attack such as crisis management and costs to cover claims and lawsuits. Expenses can also be incurred indirectly by the business losing money due to disruption of their operations due to a cyber-attack or loss of money to the attacker(s) 'steal' money from the business.
Theft of intellectual property
Another devastating impact of the cybersecurity breach is the theft of intellectual property. This can include the loss of a business' in-house valuable intellectual assets such as operational and marketing strategies which the business relies on. A report by CNBC showed that almost 30% of the companies in the U.S had had their intellectual property stolen during a cyber-security breach.
To conclude, the reviewed impacts as seen can be quite devastating. However, there are ways in which we can minimize the impact of a cybersecurity breach on your business. These include having an incidence response plan for your business that will be responsible for taking care of to prevent reoccurrence or further damage by a breach, upgrading your system's security and fixing patches where they exist as well as having a cybersecurity insurance plan to minimize on the costs incurred after an attack. To do these, you can take the first step with either request for a pentesting service or automate your vulnerability assessment tool, you can try S4E:Shelter for free.