The real cost of not protecting your company and client data

Over the years, a lot of businesses have become increasingly dependent on technology and digital IT processes for storing important information and client data. However if these files get hacked into by an unauthorised presence it can be rather critical for a business’s reputation and financial state.

Breaches of cybercrime are accountable for more than 50% of crime within the UK. No matter how big and profitable a company may be they can still come under threat with hackers and breaches in security. Even the smallest of businesses can be affected by an unauthorized access into personal data. It is said that around 5.4 million small businesses were attacked more than 7 million times a year, becoming more of a target than larger companies each year.

Ultimately, every business owner or a person of a high authority position are seen as responsible for the security of company’s data or private information. If breaches or hacks occur into these accounts they can be held accountable. Being a victim of breaches in cyber security can result in huge financial losses which can be severely
damaging for a company’s reputation and clientele. The most common reason for company’s becoming victims to cyber crime is the lack of effort and attention paid on the security of their database and making sure they have
correct updated software fitted to prevent these attacks.

The average cost of cyber attacks on small businesses is said to be around £25,700 for direct costs to pay for the ransoms and software replacements. Small businesses also suffer from indirect costs such as the damage to company reputation, the financial impact of losing customers and the trouble to attract new customers in the future. All of these lead to further financial troubles for a business in the future which can sometimes
result in bankruptcy or total loss of the company.

There are several ways hackers and unauthorised parties can gain access into private data and information that every company should look out for. Such as the following;

Malware – Software which is designed to damage, disturb or gain access for an unauthorised party to a person / company’s computer system.

Phishing – A practice of sending communications such as emails which appear to be from a trusted sender however are actually fraudulent. The intentions of phishing is to gain personal data such as bank and login details.

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack – A form of attack where the attacker comes in the middle of a two-party transaction secretly. It’s where the attacker can interrupt the transaction, alter and steal data.

Denial-of-service attack – Where hackers prevent / deny users access to certain website, devices, services, systems or resources. Hackers aim to attack flood servers, networks or systems that have traffic so they can make it difficult for legitimate users to gain access causing stress to victims.

Structured Query Language (SQL) injection – Type of attack where attackers add a SQL code to a site which then reveals information which it mainly wouldn’t, allowing them to make changes to data and access resources.

Due to these kind of attacks thousands of businesses have struggled to get back on their feet after being a victim to cyber crime due to the amount of financial loss and the long term effects on company reputation and client case. Even though, the idea of constantly forking out money for cyber security might be something a smaller business doesn’t want to do it can potentially save thousands, even millions, in the long run. Ensuring that all company data is secure and out of reach of hackers should be every company’s number one goal to ensure that they are maintaining a growing client base while staying away from any hefty legal fines.

The question is, can your business really afford not to be cyber protected?

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