Cyber threats are becoming increasingly common, but what is the true impact of a cyber-attack – and what can businesses do to defend against it? The answer to this question evolves as cyber threats and security do. The digital landscape is continuously changing, and Future Workplaces and advancements in Cyber Security are not only redefining how companies protect against attacks, but also how they occur in the first place.
A Deeper Look
Business leaders need to be asking whether they can accurately gauge the impact a cyber-attack would have on their operation. If their assumptions are correct, they can prepare the right costs and processes associated with recovery. If their assumptions are incorrect – the consequences could be significant and crippling. IBM reports that the cost of a data breach in 2019 is 3.92million USD. The average data breach effects 25,575 records, and the devastating loss of data and finance could affect a company’s reputation for years. There are also far-reaching consequences – and fines - associated with regulatory compliance.
So, what is the real impact of a cyber-attack? Currently, we know that threats affect a business:
- With costs associated with breach notification, protection, and recovery.
- Loss of brand loyalty
- Regulatory fines
There are also several ‘hidden’ costs, such as the disruption that occurs within an organisation when they are affected by a cyber threat. Disruption means downtime, and downtime is time that could be spent building a better business. A loss of intellectual property might also occur, not to mention damaged customer relationships, a devaluation of brand identity, potentially lost contracts, raised premiums, and more. There is also a loss of data and insights to consider and even the disruption of strategic assets. These are impacts that cannot be measured as accurately as cost and are all unique to each business as they navigate Digital Transformation and its influence on a Future Workplace.
Preparing for Impact
With so much to consider, companies need to be prepared for when – not if – they encounter a cyber threat. The impact of a cyber-attack does not have to devastate a company, but preparation is required. This can be done by ensuring that they have the right tools in place to detect and respond to a breach and contain it before too much damage is done. Vulnerability and penetration testing can help with this. If a company has already encountered a data breach, post-breach investigations can help.
Companies should also have policies in place regarding regulatory compliance, public relations, customer notification, and data recovery so that when they do encounter a breach, they can not only respond quickly but recover quickly too.
Companies who are prepared to face the threats associated with a digital age, and who have a realistic understanding of the impact a cyber-attack can have on their operations, are those who will thrive in a modern market.
Learn more about the steps you can take to prepare your business for a more secure future.