Cybercrime is big business for cybercriminals. The British insurance company Lloyds estimates that the damage inflicted on businesses around the world costs about $400 billion every year. This figure includes the amount of damage caused directly by the attack, plus the disruption it causes in its wake.
While recent high-profile attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware attack show that large organizations such as the UK’s National Health Service are vulnerable, the reality is even businesses that don’t make the headlines are at risk as well.
In fact, Microsoft estimates that around 20 per cent of small to medium-sized businesses have been targeted by cybercriminals.
Cyber attacks take many different forms, from hacking where confidential data is stolen, through to malware and ransomware attacks where malicious software can cripple your IT systems.
The main ways a cyber attack can affect your business are:
1. Financial loss
Hackers can cause you to lose money directly by gaining access to your business’ financial information such as banking details. Your revenue and earning can also be affected if the attack causes you to lose sales/carry out transactions.
2. Damage to reputation
An important part of your business is establishing trust with your clients. If you have shown that your systems are unreliable and vulnerable to attack, your brand and reputation will suffer. Not only could you lose existing customers and sales, but going forward the bad reputation might prevent you from gaining new clients. You reputation can also be trashed with your partners, stakeholders and investors.
3. Legal problems
Under the Data Protection Act, your company is required to manage the security of any personal data that it holds. Even if the data has been accidentally or deliberately compromise, you can be fined or face regulatory sanctions.
You can also run into legal issues with clients and other businesses you have contracts with if confidential information, such as contracts or other sensitive documents, are made public or fall into the wrong hands because of a cyber attack.
While you should always ensure your software is up-to-date and any vulnerabilities are patched, your business should also have a plan of action in place about how you will respond in the event of a cyber attack. This includes different strategies for different types of attacks.
If the worst should happen and your business is attacked by cybercriminals, how you respond and how quickly you do so can have a major impact on the damage you receive.
The recent WannaCry ransom virus was able to spread within entire organizations, taking down multiple computers and other devices. In the event of wide-scale attacks such as this one, being able to notify your employees of a threat quickly is imperative, to stop the malware from spreading.
Once you become aware of a threat to your systems, DeskAlerts is the best solution to notify your employees by sending the critical information instantly to their desktop advising them of what steps they need to take next, allowing you to minimize the risks to your business.