As the world becomes more and more online, cybersecurity becomes more and more crucial to your business. No matter what kind of venture you operate, you likely rely on storing customer data, files, payment details, and more. When that information falls into the wrong hands, your business can lose thousands to millions of dollars, and worse–your reputation could be affected. Each year, cyberattacks get worse and worse, costing business owners billions of dollars. So how specifically can cybercrime affect your business, and how can it be prevented?
The threat of hackers and other cybersecurity breaches means that many businesses have to shell out more money to try and protect themselves. Hiring experts or installing protective software costs will add up, and if there is a breach of some kind, you’ll have to notify all affected customers or clients, and may experience raised insurance costs. Being the victim of some kind of cyber attack also means paying for lawyers, and any other damages that result from the security breach.
Hiring a reputable, professional company to manage your IT and watch over your protected information can prevent many of these extra costs. Many businesses may choose to be in charge of their own cybersecurity, but this can be a huge responsibility to take on, and is often not worth the extra time spent on preventing attacks.
Cybercrime and the security to prevent it can also greatly affect the operations of your company. Issues in accessing your website, leaks of information, files being erased, and harmful malware being installed are all at risk when there is a breach of security. This can bring a company to a halt as they try to fix it and bring everything back online, wasting a lot of employees’ time and the ability to bring in revenue. Many hackers’ goal is to disrupt a company’s business practices, and this can be annoying and time-consuming to reverse.
Executives frequently believe their company is well-protected against these kinds of attacks and don’t invest any more than they have to in cybersecurity, but they are often simply misunderstanding the lengths to which hackers will go and the advanced technology they’re up against. Companies tend to see their security measures as being better than most, but bringing in a third party who has extensive knowledge of modern cybercrime measures is the best way to measure how good your security actually is.
A company’s reputation also frequently relies on its cybersecurity. Take Target, for example, which saw a huge breach in credit card information in the early 2010s. When customers know about a cybercrime issue and associate it with your brand name, that’s not good. You want current and potential customers to think of your business as a safe and secure place, where they can safely spend their money and return to again and again. It cost Target millions of dollars to resolve the issue and settle. A large data breach that reduces reputational value can also impact the value of your company, as many businesses have seen their share prices fall by 3-5 percent.
Cybercrime can also lead to stolen IP or altered businesses practice that cause you to lose revenue. When many of your protected files are stored in the cloud, without the proper security measures, these can be leaked, sold, and etc. A company can have their designs stolen, plans for future endeavors, albums, movies, and etc. leaked to the public or to insiders before they ever intended to release them. This can lead to lost revenue that could’ve been made off of that intellectual property. Many executives have also had to alter the way they do business after cyberattacks, maybe taking down products that used to be sold online, or collecting less customer data that could’ve been used for marketing and targeting.
Cybercrime is intimidating, and you may not be sure where to begin with protecting your company against it. That’s why hiring a professional company to manage your cybersecurity can be beneficial. Leaving the hard work to experts that know exactly what to protect you from and how to store important information can be a huge relief. Before you let hackers and other harmful organizations affect your business, invest some of your budget into solid cybersecurity measures.