The world has changed, and many would say for the better.
After all, we now live in a super connected world. You could very easily find yourself in a situation where a contact in Chicago introduces you to a potential business stakeholder in Mauritius, who works with a company in Reading.
While this connectivity opens up a world of possibilities, it doesn’t come without its risks. The biggest of which is cybercrime, where a cyber attack can have a tremendous impact on your business. For starters, the financial implications can be devastating, ranging from the direct cost of repairing damage to the indirect costs related to lost productivity. There’s also the reputational impact, putting your business’ standing and consumer trust to the test – the damage to which can be even more harmful to the survival of your business. And not forgetting, of course, the legal implications. These can be extremely costly and time-consuming as you deal with the fallout from the breach.
In short, a cyber attack can have a profound and far-reaching impact on your business.
That’s why it’s so important to take steps to protect yourself. Investing in cyber security is a crucial way to mitigate the risks posed by cyber attacks and safeguard your business against these potentially devastating consequences.
The Financial Implications
As we’ve mentioned, cyber attacks can have a severe financial impact on businesses. This is through the direct theft of corporate or financial information, theft of money, or disruption to trading preventing the business from conducting transactions online.
In addition, businesses may lose contracts or customers as a result of the attack, and will incur costs associated with investigating and resolving the breach.
The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 has revealed statistics about the UK’s cyber resilience, giving us good idea of the lay of the land. According to these recent results, in the last 12 months, 39% of UK businesses have identified a cyber attack. Within this group, 31% of businesses estimate that they were attacked at least once a week, while one in five have reported experiencing a negative outcome as a result of an attack.
Importantly, when it comes to the material outcomes, the average estimated cost of cyber attacks in the last 12 months is £4,200. However, within the medium and large businesses group, this figure rises to £19,400.
Your Reputation At Risk
The recent high-profile cyber attacks that have taken place have highlighted the importance of trust in customer relationships, with those businesses which have been the victims of cyber attacks taking a hit to their respective reputations.
This has, in turn, led to a loss of customers and sales, and naturally, a dip in profits. It doesn’t stop at your business and your customers, though, because the effect of reputational damage can even impact on your suppliers, or affect relationships you may have with partners, investors and other third parties.
It comes down to maintaining the trust of your customers.
With this bigger picture in mind, you can see how essential it is to take steps to protect your business from cyber attacks.
The Legal Effects
In the age of cyber attacks and data breaches, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take data protection and privacy seriously.
Not only do laws require you to manage the security of all the personal data you hold – whether it’s related to your staff or your customers – but if this data is compromised, you may face fines and regulatory sanctions.
This means that it’s not only a protective necessity to have a robust cyber security strategy in place, one that includes measures, such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular backups, but it’s also a legal requirement.
By taking these steps, you can help to protect your business, and your customers’ personal data, from cyber criminals.
When Size Doesn’t Matter
One of the biggest misconceptions, especially among small and medium businesses, is that they are too small or insignificant to be attacked. However, data suggests that is just not the case. In fact, small businesses are targeted precisely because they’re least likely to have invested in robust security measures.
As a result, small businesses are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber attacks a day and cybercrime costs the small business community billions of pounds a year, according to latest Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) research.
A closer look at this data reveals that the most common type of attack on small businesses is phishing, with 530,000 attacks, followed by around 374,000 incidences of malware, 301,000 fraudulent payment requests, and 260,000 ransomware attacks taking place over the past two years.
More specifically, those businesses based in the North West, South East, and West Midlands are most likely to be the victims of cyber-attacks, with 25%, 23%, and 21% of small businesses in these areas reporting cyber incidences respectively.
Worryingly, one in three small firms say that they haven’t installed security software over the past two years, while 40% don’t regularly update their software, and the same number don’t back up data and IT systems. Around half don’t even have a strict password policy for their devices.
These findings demonstrate the sheer scale of the dangers faced by small firms every day in the digital arena, says FSB Policy & Advocacy Chairman Martin McTague said
What we say is that it’s little wonder that the annual cost of these attacks to the small business community is estimated to be £4.5 billion, with the average cost of an individual attack sitting at £1,300.
So, What Do You Do About It?
These numbers can be frightening, but the hope is that it will show you that only those businesses that are well-prepared and well-equipped will be in a position to mitigate such attacks, or at least minimise the damage caused.
While some say they think that they are covered based on the information provided by their IT company, others have sought out professional assistance. What we can say is that the complexity and nature of the technology being used to try and destroy your business requires the same level of expertise to protect it.
The first and best thing to do, is to book a discovery call with one of our professionals.