Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly frequent, not just for large businesses but small and medium-sized enterprises too. A cyber attack can have an impact on your business in many different ways, from the trust that customers feel towards your systems and how you’re handling their data to financial penalties that can be the result of inadequate security that enabled the cyber attack in the first place. It’s important to be aware of all the ways in which these attacks can impact your business.
The economic impact of cyber attacks
This is one of the biggest consequences of a cyber attack for any business today. Financial loss may arise because your systems are crippled and you are unable to continue trading or due to broken contracts and a loss of business. It could be the result of stolen money, theft of financial or corporate information and a sizable bill for repairing the damage done during a cyber attack.
Credibility and reputational damage
Reputational damage seems to be a more intangible consequence of cyber attacks on your business but in reality, it can be incredibly severe. Reputation is something that businesses rely on to attract customers and clients, retain existing relationships and even work with chosen suppliers etc. It will also be a key factor for anyone looking to partner with or invest in, your business. If the credibility of your business is scarred by cyber-attacks then your reputation will suffer and this can put all of these important relationships on very shaky ground. Once credibility and trust in your business start to erode then you may find that you may lose customers to competitors who haven’t suffered in the same way. You may see sales drop and experience reduced profits as a result.
Legal consequences and penalties
Compromised data is one of the biggest problems for any business that has experienced a cyber attack. Today, the regulatory landscape is set up to protect data as much as possible – and part of that is penalising businesses where data has become vulnerable. As a result, there may be legal consequences for any business that has experienced a cyber attack that has compromised data. That could be anything, from increased scrutiny to paying financial penalties, such as those under the GDPR that can be up to 4% of turnover.
How can you minimise the impact of a cyber attack?
Acting fast is essential where your business is coming under attack in this way. In order to ensure that you can do that you will need to have an incident response plan in place so that everyone in the business knows how to respond to something like this. Your plan should include steps to minimise the consequences of the attack, reporting obligations, how to clean up in the aftermath and the fastest route back to business continuity.
Cyber attacks are a reality for every business today. Ensuring that you understand the impact these can have is the first step towards ensuring that you are prepared and can minimise any potential consequences. SADS IT offer trusted and professional IT Security and Data Protection services for business in Maidstone and the surrounding areas, if you’d like to protect yourself from cyber attacks, get in touch with our team today.