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Hacking always seems to be that thing that happens to other people. You might think your company is too small to be targeted but that is exactly one of the reasons hackers are going after small companies. They’re less prepared and feel safer. However, anyone is at risk of a cyber-attack.

 

Whether the attack is successful is down to how well protected you are. If you’re unprotected then the results could have a devastating effect on your business. If you haven’t currently got security measures in place because you think they’re costly, be warned that the costs of a successful cyber-attack will be greater in time and money.

Here are the costs of poor cyber-security:

Ransomware

One of the most common tactics that hackers are using is ransomware. This is when a criminal gets access to a system and encrypts important data. They will then offer to decrypt it only if you pay them a ransom. Some companies pay because the alternative is losing data that a company needs to function. However, they then take a huge financial hit if they pay.

The problem is that you’ve got absolutely no guarantee that you’ll get your data back if you pay up. Often they’ll simply ask for more if you agree to pay because they know you’ve already agreed once. As soon as other cyber-criminals realise you’ve paid up once, they’ll probably try to target you too.

Stolen data

If hackers get access to customers’ financial data then you could end up seeing them targeted too. One common scam that people run is to compose emails pretending to be the CEO of a company and send it to employees. They’ll usually ask someone to make a payment on something or to send over financial information.

A lot of employees would think nothing of it, particularly if they’ve received similar emails before and if they think it’s from the boss.

Hackers are getting more sophisticated and organised. You may find that many will research a company’s structure and find out who’s got access to company accounts before sending out scam emails so as to avoid suspicion.

Government fines

Companies who do not sufficiently protect their customers’ data could see themselves getting heavy fines. Businesses could end up getting fines amounting to 4% of annual turnover if they’re not careful. This could mean a huge loss of money both from the cyber-criminal and then from the government fines. In some cases this could lead to businesses having to close down due to the financial hit.

Reputation

Once word gets out that you were attacked and customer data was compromised, it’s not going to encourage new people to buy from you. People are going to be wary visiting and buying through your website again. It could also put off potential investors or money lenders too.

 

Are you prepared for an attack? Or have you ever been targeted? Let us know your thoughts.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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