A cyberattack is, in a word, your worst nightmare. More than ever before, cyberattacks are a growing threat to businesses everywhere, no matter their size.
In 2021, Norton estimated that more than 2,200 cyberattacks occur on a daily basis, which translates to roughly one cyberattack every 39 seconds, and even small businesses are not immune. Hackers are growing more sophisticated, as well, using tactics like cryptojacking, mobile-focused and IoT-focused cybercrimes, and social engineering, among others.
Accepting the reality that a cyberattack is possible, if not imminent, is the first step toward protecting your company and your assets. But, to be clear, you need to understand the following ways a cyberattack will cost you much more than data if you aren’t proactive about cyber security measures:
- Disruption of Operations
- Lost Reputation, Customers
- Insurance Premium Increases
- Eventual Loss of Business
Disruption of Operations
Cyberattacks often occur unexpectedly, and most certainly not at convenient times. The result? A cyberattack will likely throw your company into chaos. Depending on the form of the attack, company operations may slow down, require a temporary shut-down, or bring things to a halt altogether.
A recent example is the National Health Service (NHS) in England, which experienced a targeted cyber attack that is preventing its healthcare providers from being able to access patient notes and creating a backlog of 6.73 million patients awaiting care.
Lost Reputation, Customers
Your company’s cybersecurity is ultimately tied to your company’s credibility and reputation. You not only are responsible for your customers’ information and privacy, your business relies on their trust in your ability to keep that information safe. Deloitte research reported that, unfortunately, it can be difficult to track and quantify how many customers are lost immediately following an attack.
Continuing with the NHS example, imagine how many of their patients have been frightened or disgruntled by the cyberattack. Some may be shaken by the fact that their personal information has been stolen or lost, and others may never step foot in or return to a NHS facility.
Insurance Premium Increases
Even if you are insured for cyberattacks, Deloitte conducted informal research among leading providers of cyber insurance, with shocking findings: It is not uncommon for a policyholder to see a 200% increase in premiums, or even be denied coverage until conditions were met, following a cyberattack!
A cyberattack, just like an insurance claim, impacts your company’s reputation in the eyes of cyber insurance providers. Your cybersecurity “maturity” and record will forever impact your future costs for the coverage you seek.
Eventual Loss of Business
While a worst case scenario, it is entirely possible that you could eventually lose your business as a result of a cyberattack. In fact, 60% of small-to-midsize businesses who are victims of a data breach or cyberattack go out of business within six months.
Why? For all the reasons mentioned previously, not to mention theft of finances, the cost of restoring hacked systems or technology, litigation costs and government fines, and loss of intellectual property. Cybercrime can truly rob your business of its assets, business secrets, and reputation overnight, leaving you with little to nothing to offer in the end.