The Impact of Cybercrime

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We are all aware of cybercrime and how we have to protect our devices from hackers, scammers and cybercriminals. Another thing we have to accept is that all businesses are susceptible to cybercrime. No business is too big, or too small to escape the attention of the cybercriminals. In fact, the smaller the business the easier it is for cybercriminals to gain access.

What is cybercrime?

There are various threats to your organisation’s computers and ultimately your business, staff and client data. These include:

  • Malware – A blanket term for all malicious software that can infect your machine.
  • Ransomware –  Once infected the device (and all others connected to it) will be encrypted by the cybercriminals until a ransom is paid, normally in bitcoin.
  • Viruses – These can corrupt data, steal information, damage computers or networks and can create botnets which send spam emails from all networked PCs.
  • Trojan horses – These can track your behaviour, gather information, install malware and carry out Denial of Service (DoS) on your websites.
  • Worms – These can self-replicate once on the system and will then infect other machines, which can delete and corrupt files.
  • Spyware – This can track browsing and internet behaviour and can end up stealing financial details, or secure logins.
  • Adware – This can collect data and pass it onto a third party, as  well as change browser settings and search settings without permission.

The effects of cybercrime on your business

With so many different threats to your business’ IT systems it is inevitable that at some point your organisation could fall victim to one of them. But how would this effect your business?

There are lots of practical effects of falling victim to cybercrime such as:

  • Business down time – If your systems are corrupted, or DoS on your website is carried out your business may not be able to function until the problems are solved.
  • Loss of Data – If for example you have a ransomware attack your client, staff and business data could be inaccessible and may not be restored even if a ransom is paid.
  • Financial impact – The cost of having your business offline as well as potential fines for non-compliance of security protocols could cost your business financially.

However, the biggest impact to your business, which is not so quick and easy to repair is that of reputational damage. According to a Forbes Insight Report 46% of businesses suffered reputational damage following a breach in 2019, and 19% of those were because of a third-party failing.

Once a business has ‘lost’ data due to a cyber-attack clients lose their trust for the company. The most valuable thing most people have is their data and depending on the type of data your business collects losing it can be devastating to a client.

Whilst you can easily replace data, pay fines and get your business back up and running, repairing lost reputation can take a long time and depending on the severity of the breach may never be repaired. How can an organisation be trusted if the data they process is not safe?

How to protect yourself against cybercrime

Prevention is far easier than trying to fix reputational damage, and that means taking IT security seriously within your business. As a matter of course you should have:

  • Regularly updated software
  • Anti-malware, anti-ransomware and anti-virus software
  • Regular backups of all systems
  • Regular staff training on protecting themselves from phishing and smishing
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Robust access management systems

If you want to ensure that your business network is as secure as it can be against all forms of cybercrime contact Security Everywhere for an assessment of your security and advice on how to improve it, as well as offering security and backup services.

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