The Cost of Cyber Trauma to Your Team

By | Published On: 5 December 2022 | 6.7 min read |

How would you feel if you were unintentionally, but directly responsible for a huge financial loss to your company? And all you did was click on a link disguised as part of your work function. 

It’s no secret that cybercrime is evolving. Threats disguised as normal job functions are becoming increasingly evident in both large and small business industries. In fact, a Made in Britain report recently stated that two thirds of companies with between 10 and 49 employees have suffered a cyber-attack in the past year. 

How Simple Is It To Be Hacked?

If you think you know enough to prevent your data or financial information from being hacked, it might be time to rethink. One of our top case studies that show how easy it is to be hacked is as follows.

“A head of accounting with 30 years’ experience at a local building company became the victim of an invoice scam late last year. One day, when replying to emails and doing the books, she accidentally clicked on a link disguised as an invoice. This resulted in a 47,000-pound loss to the company. Currently, this employee has suffered extensive guilt and depression and has been off work for six months. The trauma of being a victim of cybercrime has been extensive.”

What is Cyber Trauma?

Everyone knows what cybercrime is. And you may even be aware of what you need to look out for to try and avoid it. However, how much do you know about cyber trauma?

Essentially, cyber trauma is the term that refers to the stress, trauma and mental anguish a person suffers as a result of a cyberattack. When a person inadvertently causes a cyber breach (by clicking on a fake work invoice) or is directly the victim, the cyber incident often doesn’t end with just one fraudulent transaction. 

Effects of Cyber Trauma

Cyberattacks come in many different forms. They can range from phishing attacks to ransomware attacks. Business owners and employees often experience severe emotional and psychological trauma following a cyberattack. 

In some instances, victims of cybercrimes report the experience as being worse than a home invasion. For the simple reason that with cybercrime you never know when your data will be misused again. 

Team members who have been victims to cybercrime often experience the following:

  • Emotional symptoms: These can include depression, anxiety, guilt and anger. These feelings are increased when the person in question is the one who “clicked” on the link. (As in the case of our first case study)
  • Cognitive symptoms: Some of the cognitive symptoms include increased worry (about how their data or details are being misused) as well as feeling violated and unsafe.
  • Behavioural symptoms: Employees who have been the victim of cybercrimes will often not want to perform the same job functions. This is especially the case if the job function requires the person to be online. 

Social Media – An Open Back Door

Another example of instances that can cause you or your team extreme cyber trauma stems from having your social media hacked. Consider this case stay as an example.

“A top chef, who uses her social media platform to communicate with a client and follower list that’s taken many years to create, had her account hacked. By hacking her account, the hackers have changed the passwords on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, making it difficult for us to regain access. By hacking her accounts, the cybercriminals have access to her trusted contacts. They then forward phishing emails and scams to these contacts. Since the contacts think the scams are real as they appear to be endorsed by her, friends, customers and followers have also become victims. This has obviously caused her extensive stress and trauma, as it’s an ongoing battle to resolve. “

Having your Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn profile hacked not only exposes your personal information but also gives cyber criminals access to your contact information. Furthermore, by impersonating you or your business, they can defraud a lot more people who invest in something because “you’ve” recommended it. 

Two Top Ways to Avoid Cyber Crime

No matter what type of business you’re running, the chances are you do a lot of online communication between yourself, your clients and your vendors. All this online activity creates ample opportunity for cybercrime. 

That said, the average person isn’t aware of or equipped to deal with this type of situation. Fortunately, there are two effective ways to better protect your business from potential threats.

Email Security

Statistics show that one in every 3,722 emails in the UK is a phishing attempt. The shocking part is that it’s 20% higher than the global average. Emails are still the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to your system, data and financial records. 

The most common ways businesses are being hacked through their email systems include the following:

  • Phishing emails: This is where emails are designed to entice you to click on a malicious link that gives the hacker access to your system
  • Fake invoices: Hackers research the type of business you’re in and provide invoices and receipts that look like part of your daily work or provide your customers with fake invoice requests that feature amended and fraudulent banking details
  • Spam emails: These annoying emails entice you to click on a fake website which actually just harbours malware

The best solution to avoid this is to opt for an advanced Email Security Service. Essentially, Email Security removes 99% of potential attacks before they reach your inbox, all using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) backed by our team of security experts to review any threat exceptions. This includes identifying cyber threats disguised as customer invoices and vendor receipts, phishing attempts or any other malicious files.

Computer Security

According to Hiscox, one small business is hacked every 19 seconds. On average that amounts to about 4,500 successful hacks every day. Cybercriminals are inventing 4 new threats  every second to infiltrate and steal your identity and data. 

The most common ways businesses are being hacked through their computers include the following:

  • Trojan horse malware: For the most part, Trojan horse malware is a program that’s disguised as nothing harmful but actually instals malware onto your device 
  • Key Loggers: The easiest way for a hacker to get access to all your online accounts is by sneaking a keylogger onto your machine, either by email or a craftily disguised website.  These will track all your keystrokes including usernames and passwords.
  • Ransomware:  Hackers love this one as they get access to your computers or servers via a malicious link and they encrypt all your files and then ask you to pay them to get the data back!

Opting for Computer Security is an effective way to reduce the risk of your system being attacked by malware or any other type of cyberthreat. Essentially, our Computer Security Service combines the latest AI, software as well as the latest cyber counterintelligence to keep your systems safe. The software identifies and shuts down a potential attack within seconds. 

Final Thoughts

The effects of cyber trauma can have a lasting effect on your team members. In some instances this may make simple online job functions challenging. It’s important to put the correct protocols in place to keep your team, customers, data and finances secure. 

Once that’s done, invest in the most up-to-date training programs to make it easier for your team to identify potential threats. Invest in the right technology to prevent cyber trauma from becoming a reality in your workspace!

Security Everywhere specialises in reducing the chances of cybercrime within your small business. Investing in their expertise will not only protect your data and money from cyber criminals but your employees as well. Avoid the trauma of a cyber attack by booking a free discovery session with our skilled experts sooner rather than later!

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