According to the 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report from Cisco, cyber-crime is on the rise. They’re in the news all the time these days, at least when it happens to the high profile companies.
Unfortunately, a lot of small business owners wrongly think they’ll never be targeted as hackers all seem to be going after the bigger companies.
However, cyber-attackers are more likely to target smaller businesses because they’re easier to crack and don’t have the level of security that bigger businesses can afford to have.
What could you lose in a cyber-attack?
This is usually the key aim of a cyber-attack. You could lose money if they get access to your company’s bank details. They could also encrypt your computers and only offer to decrypt them if you pay a ransom.
The government will also fine companies in some cases who don’t take the proper precautions to protect themselves from a cyber-attack. By not being prepared, they put all their customers’ information at risk too.
Any disturbance to your business is going to make all sorts of problems. If your systems go down this could end up disrupting cash flow, particularly for shops or ecommerce websites.
The report by Cisco revealed that 29% of businesses lost revenue from attacks and of these, 38% said that they lost more than 20% of it.
Cyber-attacks can also disrupt potential business opportunities. 23% of businesses lost business opportunities as a result of an attack. 42% of them lost over 20% of potential business leads.
When your customers hear about your hacking, they might be less likely to trust you with their information. This could mean that business will become even tougher after the initial disturbance.
Some companies find that the financial strain and the damage to their brand and image are too much to keep it afloat.
22% of those surveyed said that they had lost customers, and 40% said that they had lost more than 20%.
How to avoid this
Most successful cyber-attacks exploit human error. This means that they’ll go after your employees by sending them phishing emails, pretending to be from someone they know or by guessing their easy passwords. So it’s important to train your workers in basic cyber-security to minimise risk.
Has your company ever suffered a cyber-attack? How prepared would you be for one? Please share your thoughts in the comments.