Much has changed for businesses, with technology becoming the mainstay of organizational operations. While it serves undeniable advantages, cybercrime is the most daunting downside you cannot overlook as a business owner. The worst part is that the statistics are alarming, with countless small companies and large enterprises from all verticals falling prey to hacking attacks and data thefts every year.
Besides growing in numbers, the attacks are more sophisticated than ever because hackers and criminals have new ways of getting through the most robust defenses of businesses. Beyond the disconcerting numbers and sophistication of attacks, the severity of damage caused by such events can be immense. Companies may never recover after an attack because the extent of the loss can be far greater than what appears on the surface. Let us explain why cybercrime should be a major concern for businesses of all sizes, scales, and domains.
Operational setbacks are perhaps the worst implications of a cyberattack because they can get your revenues to a standstill. Imagine the number of potential conversions you may miss out on when your website suddenly crashes. Even worse, returning visitors may never be back again because they fear sharing information on a website hacked once. Cybercriminals can handcuff a company’s normal activities in several ways, from infecting computer systems with malware to erase high-value information to installing malicious code on a server to block access to your website. Resuming business can take hours or days, and the damage worsens with every passing moment. Even quick fixes cannot save your operations from going haywire.
Besides the loss of revenues and customers, you may have to incur hefty expenses to undo the damage caused by cybercrime. For example, you will need to pay for cybersecurity technology and expertise to address the attack and strengthen your systems for the future. Your business insurance costs will probably increase after the incident tarnishes your record. Ransomware attacks are the worst because you may have to pay a massive amount to the hacker to regain access to your IT systems. Further, you will probably be liable for non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations, which often leads to hefty penalties. These costs can be back-breaking for any business.
Cyber safety has a far-reaching impact on the reputation of businesses because they are responsible for the safety of customer data. A breach causes more than non-compliance with privacy regulations. It can damage your reputation for good as customers lose their trust in your company. Cyberfrauds are even worse because they can lead to lawsuits, even if a dishonest employee or hacker is responsible. The best way to salvage your reputation is to bring leading criminal defense attorneys on board. They can work with evidence and establish that your company had nothing to do with the crime.
Altered business practices
Beyond the financial and legal implications, cybercrime can even affect the way you run your business. You will probably have to rework your process for collecting and storing information to ensure safety in the future. In fact, many companies no longer store customers’ financial and personal details, such as birth dates¸ Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers. Some even decided to shut down their online stores for good over the concerns regarding cyberattacks. Moreover, customers prefer to work with companies that have a clear stance on security issues and the protections they have in place.
Stolen intellectual property
Intellectual property includes the technologies, product designs, and go-to-market strategies that give your company a winning advantage in the industry. A cyber attack can also be about a stolen intellectual property besides lost customer data. Losing your trade secrets can be even worse than dealing with a data breach because it translates into the loss of competitive advantage. Your business may never recover from the setback again because someone else in the market may get their hands on your stolen assets. The worst part is that you can do nothing about it. Not surprisingly, business owners go the extra mile to safeguard their intellectual property from cyber attacks.
Protecting your business against cyberattacks should be a priority because they can have far-reaching implications beyond losing revenues and profits. Legal hassles and reputational damage are the worst ones because they are the hardest to recover from. But you can address these concerns by implementing adequate cybersafety measures for your company. Although they may cost a bit, you must put them in place without second thoughts because your revenues, reputation, and peace of mind are priceless.