Today’s digital landscape has been evolving so fast that yesterday’s trendiest app could be obsolete the next month. And with the fast-paced development of technology, cyber criminals seem to be catching up just as fast.
You can be the most extensive E-commerce business or a small mom-and-pop online store, but you can still become a target for hackers and opportunistic individuals. This is especially true since every weak gateway is a chance for them to infiltrate and take valuable data they could hold for ransom.
According to experts, the two most possible cyber-attacks in a business are theft of personal information and financial-driven cyber-attacks. But the attacks that incur the most financial loss in a company include:
- Politically motivated hacktivists
- Phishing and social engineering
- Mobile device exploits
- Viruses and trojans.
Also included are an insider’s malicious intent and a team member’s carelessness.
With that, strengthening your business’ cybersecurity is crucial because not doing so could lead to a financial loss. If you need to fortify your business’s safety against cyber threats, you may want to check out cyber security Sacramento services or others within your locality.
To give you a better idea, here are some of the financial impacts of inferior cybersecurity on small businesses:
Loss of Business and Damaged Reputation
Perhaps you have tried to build a good name over the years by excelling in customer service and manufacturing only the best products. But in the blink of an eye, a catastrophic data breach could damage all you have worked for. This can hurt the way your customers will perceive you.
Customers would feel hesitant or wary of providing their personal information and financial data or bank details when processing a transaction. Losing your customer’s valuable trust could also mean they’ll stop buying your products and services. In most cases, a security incident will make them look for another brand to patronize. And just like that, even your most loyal customer is balking.
With that, you’re likely to see a rapid decline in business sales and transactions, and rebuilding your brand will take a substantial effort and resources, which is the next point.
PR Costs to Repair the Brand Damage
If you’re a small business, you can’t afford to look the other way and wish for the best. The problem won’t go away even if you sleep on it. You have to deal with it the soonest that you can. It could be through pacifying irate customers by giving them freebies or offering them extra services that will cost you.
If such tactics don’t work, you may need to hire a public relations firm to handle and clean up the mess. They can help refresh your brand and give your business a good image to the public.
Public Relations is not cheap, but the cost to do this will be something that you’ll have to convince yourself that everything is charged to experience. Soon after, hopefully, transactions will return, and you’ll resume normal operations.
Additional Costs for Hiring Experts
After a data breach, of course, you would want to get to the bottom of the incident. And in most cases, you’d need to hire somebody from the outside to determine the source of the cyber-attack.
For instance, you may need to hire an IT forensic expert to investigate the matter and give you the root cause of the problem so you can create a SMART action plan and penalize or give sanctions to the culprit if they are still within the organization. This can consume a significant portion of your finances as digital forensic experts’ fees can be costly.
IT Infrastructure Improvement Expenses
After this incident, it’s only fitting that you strengthen your IT infrastructure. If you want to look at the silver lining, tell yourself that at least now you know what your weaknesses are. Now, you can employ specific strategies and courses of action to address this.
To start, you may need to invest in more sophisticated equipment, tools, apps, or software to help you in this mission. While this can be costly, consider this a sound investment that would benefit your brand in the long term.
Cost of Training Staff About New Upgrades
The most susceptible part of the organization is the employees. Cyber-attacks are usually easy to carry out because of human error. It could be due to carelessness, lack of knowledge, and malice. And with that, it would be best to ensure that your organization is updated with the various technologies to deter cyberattacks. It would also benefit you to ensure their compliance through certification by a third party.
Many companies who suffered a breach will tell you that they didn’t expect it would happen to them and thought their infrastructure was enough. But it’d be good to note that in this fast-paced modern world, it’s better to be over-prepared than unguarded.
Ensuring that your organization’s IT requirements are fulfilled can give you more peace of mind as a business owner. And more so, you and your customers can rest assured that all confidential data and information are protected. Consulting with professional IT experts can be a good start in helping you run your business successfully and safely.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.
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