Effects of Cyber Attacks on Businesses

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By Bill Minahan   |   November 1, 2019   |   0 Comments

Effects of Cyber Attacks on Business

cyber attacks impact on businessBusinesses around the world feel the effects of cyber attacks. In 2017, the global economy lost $600 billion as a result of cyber crime. However, cyber attacks go far beyond financial loss.

Cyber attacks can impact a businesses’ finances, reputation, operations, valuation, and staff.

As cyber crime becomes more lucrative, cyber attacks are more likely to occur. It’s important to understand the short-term and long-term effects cyber attacks could have on your business.

Cyber Attack Short-Term Effect

Some cyber attacks have the power to disrupt your business immediately.

For example, denial of service attacks (DoS attacks), is when a network is flooded with spam accounts and unable to process legitimate customers and requests.

DoS attacks can temporarily or indefinitely disrupt services of any business connected to the Internet. It can stop customers from reaching your online checkout, browsing/purchasing your merchandise, or from accessing your site altogether.

Not only can this block current clients from your online resources, but it can also prevent new traffic and divert potential clients.

Another common cyber attack with immediate consequences is ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malicious malware that gets into your system and encrypts your data.

As a result, businesses lose access to crucial customer, employee, and tactical data unless they pay a sum of money via bitcoin to cyber criminals. Often, cyber criminals extort large sums of money from businesses by threatening to make the data breach public.

Bitcoin has been said to fuel ransomware attacks because it offers an anonymous and untraceable way for hackers to demand payment. Read more about bitcoin and ransomware here.

Ransomware and DoS attacks, along with many other forms of cyber attacks, can cause immediate financial and operational destruction to your business.

Cyber Attack Long-Term Effect

The long-term effects of cyber attacks aren’t as obvious as the short-term effects.

After a cyber attack, if customer data and personal information are leaked to hackers, then reputational damage often occurs. Many customers, especially if the data breach is severe, choose to take their business elsewhere. Furthermore, it can slow down new business by scaring off potential customers.

If corporations have a history of compromising personal and financial data, then consumers are far less likely to do business with them. Especially if competitors haven’t endured similar breaches.

Other long-term effects that impact businesses are lawsuits and fines. Civil lawsuits are common when cyber attacks leak large amounts of personal information. Often, these lawsuits take years to settle and are expensive.

Plus, if the impacted business deals with health care information and falls under HIPAA compliance or BAA compliance, then they can receive hefty fines for breaking compliance.

Under HIPAA, the government requires businesses who have had a data breach to notify their clients. Usually, companies hire outside help to notify clients and handle PR. The damage control and aftermath of cyber attacks are usually long-lasting and expensive.

How to Avoid Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks impact businesses both short-term and long-term. However, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of an attack and mitigate the damage if one was to occur.

Specifically, the following are actions you can take to avoid cyber attacks:

Securing your network should be your top priority. Businesses operating without secure networks are sitting ducks. Follow these 5 steps to secure your network.

In the unfortunate case that a cyber attack does occur, you want to be prepared. There are proactive measures you can take to mitigate the damage:

  • Back up your data
  • Create and test emergency protocols with IT staff
  • Partner with an MSP for damage control

Cyber attacks will become more frequent in the future. You should know the short-term and long-term impact of cyber attacks.

Businesses should take a proactive stance on cyber security to avoid the negative impacts of a cyber attack. If you’re looking to start the conversation about your cyber security, aNetworks offers free consults.

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