Cybersecurity is one of those things most people don’t think about. After all, it can be difficult to know whether your business is secure or susceptible. It’s easy to see how someone could break into your home when you forget to lock a door or a window, but it’s much more difficult to see how someone can access company information just because you used a bad Wi-Fi connection.
Even if it’s hard, it’s worth your time to learn everything you can about cybersecurity. That way you are encouraged to do things like update layered security systems to zero trust security and create robust policies around employee use of personal devices for work. If you don’t, you could ruin your business in one of these ways.
Loss of Company Data
If a hacker targets your business, it’s because they want something. Much of the time, it’s company data they’re after. Hackers can hijack your system and hold it for ransom. If you are unwilling or unable to meet their demands, you may find that you never regain access to important company data that you need to keep your business running.
It’s also the case that malware and viruses can cripple your systems, making it impossible for you to access trade secrets and business data that you rely on to keep your doors open. You could find yourself shutting up shop simply because you don’t have the funds or the resources to start from the ground up again.
Stolen Customer and Employee Information
It isn’t always your data that can be compromised. It’s just as, if not more, likely that hackers are interested in the information in your systems about your customers and employees.
Hackers can do a lot with very little information, and they can do even more if they get a lot of information. Some of the info they’re after includes:
- Full names
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account information
- Credit card information
- Login passwords
Many hackers look for financial information so they can spend your customers’ money, while others are looking for easy ways to gain access to your company systems. If customer information was lost, you have to notify your customers, which means their lack of trust and loyalty can cripple your business, while access to your systems can shut you down for good.
Loss of Money
Most businesses focus on the loss of data and customers without really thinking about how it can affect their pocketbooks.
On average, businesses can expect to pay $200,000 to get back and up and running after a cyberattack. Fees might include paying off a hacker who is holding systems for ransom, draining bank accounts after hackers get ahold of company accounts, and you may even have to deal with a lawsuit that claims you were negligent in protecting information.
Many small businesses can’t shoulder such a load, while larger businesses may find themselves out even more money because there is more personal information that can be stolen.
Loss of Productivity
Even if you’re lucky enough not to have to spend a single cent recovering, you will still find that your finances suffer. That’s because the office will experience a loss of productivity.
There are things you and your employees can do when systems are down, but at the end of the day, you need computer programs, data, and networks to get the heart of your work done. The longer it takes to recover, the more downtime your office experiences, and the more you will get behind. If employees are away from their computers too long, or if it happens often enough, you will find yourself too behind to catch up.
Expensive hardware and Software Replacement
Physical assets can be compromised in an attack too. You may find that essential components are compromised or outdated technology is what left you susceptible to an attack in the first place.
If you have been saving up to buy new IT equipment, you may be able to recover fairly quickly. However, if you realize you have to replace expensive hardware and software systems that you don’t have the money for, you may have to reduce operations or close down your business.
Bad cybersecurity can ruin your business, but it doesn’t have to! When you know all of the things that could go wrong, you can start planning to make sure things go right. That way your business can grow and expand while keeping your customers and your employees safe.