What would happen if a cyberattack hit your business? When you consider the possibility, it quickly becomes clear that you need to include cybersecurity in your risk management plan. Hackers no longer just prey on large corporations. It’s unfortunately very easy for a would-be hacker to get the tools they need to profit from companies like yours.
The cost of cybercrime in the U.S. continues to skyrocket. No one is safe and your business should be protected against the very real possibility of an attack. Here are four questions to help you envision the impact cybercrime would have on your business and what your company can do to mitigate the risks.
Will your business continue to operate after a cyberattack?
If you don’t want to be in the 60% of small and medium-sized companies that go out of business within six months of a breach, think about what your response will be when your data has been stolen, kidnapped or vandalized.
How you regain control of your digital assets will depend largely upon the type of breach you experience. First, you’ll need to focus on how to stop the cyberattack. With your systems down, what will your people do if they cannot work or communicate with customers? Do you have another way to get to the key information you need to complete your daily transactions?
Abusiness continuity planthat details how you use your backups to get up and running again can save you from this paralysis. Have your people practice so they know how to work with a backup before a real emergency occurs.
How would a hacking incident affect people?
At the very minimum, a cyberattack will be stressful for everyone. Depending upon what happens, concern could grow. As you work to stop the incident and return operations to normal, everyone will be under pressure to meet customer needs. They might also start worrying about their paychecks, or the survivability of the company. If your HR records were compromised, identity theft may become a concern too.
Then there’s your reputation. Will people want to work for you or with you in the future? Will employees and customers stay on after the incident?
The good reputation you have with your customers could be scarred. If you have product designs or any intellectual property that belongs to them, they are going to worry about the future security of their own company. Will there be another attack that will affect them because of their relationship with you? Current cybercrime issues become future cybercrime issues.
New customers will be harder to get if you have a reputation for being vulnerable to a cyberattack. How can you be trusted? Are you even going to be in business long enough to fulfill their orders?
What are the legal or regulatory ramifications of a cyberattack?
The data you gather and store has value to your business, your employees, your vendors, and certainly your customers. Depending upon how upset and fearful people are, you could get sued by the people who are involved. The client whose intellectual property was stolen could take legal action because loss of their proprietary information means a loss of their competitive edge.
If your industry has strict regulatory compliance laws such as ITAR, HIPAA or PCI, then you will face fines. You’ll come under intense scrutiny as your company, people and policies are studied to see if you failed to implement important protection measures against the breach.
The chances of prosecuting and convicting the real perpetrator are slim. Bad actors (slang for cybercriminals) can be very difficult to trace. The cybercriminal marketplace allows people to buy and sell services woven together in a complex web of interactions that result in yours and other crimes.
What are the financial repercussions of a cyberattack?
You can put a dollar sign beside just about every effect discussed so far. A cyberattack is costly if not devastating. You will spend money to deal with the incident and to get operations going again including:
• Legal representation.
• Loss of customers.
• Inability to attract new customers.
• Loss of employees.
• Protection for those affected by the beach.
Then comes the question: What are you going to do differently so that it doesn’t happen again?
Investing in quality IT support that prevents cybercrime will always be less expensive than an attack. The cost of good cybersecurity is nothing compared to the emotional and financial toll a cybercrime can take.
Protect Yourself from Cybercrime
Ask yourself the above questions. How would you respond to a potential cyberattack?
This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise. Use your answers to start a productive discussion about how you can strengthen risk management strategy and cybersecurity at your company. Include technical and non-technical components to both avoid hacking incidents and to improve your ability to bounce back if your company ever does become a victim.
Wondering where to start? Thriveon can help. Schedule a meeting today to get your important questions answered. We know how to protect against cyberattack and we help businesses like yours every day.