Believe it or not, but small businesses are attacked by cyber criminals just as frequently as large corporations. However, small businesses are more likely to fall victim to malicious attacks than their larger competitors. The reason small businesses are more susceptible to cyber crime is because they are less likely to have an IT department that can keep them protected.
For many small companies, hiring an internal team of IT professionals is too expensive. Those resources often need to be invested in other branches of the business. This leaves them open to all kinds of cyber threats. If a cyber attack is not dealt with promptly, it could have devastating consequences for a growing organization.
How Do Cyber Attacks Affect Businesses?
You often see news headlines about large corporations getting hit by cyber attacks, but when it comes to small businesses, not so much. Although their issues are not publicized as much, thousands of small companies find themselves victims of phishing, malware, hacking, and other types of cyber attacks every year.
Cyber crime poses a serious risk to any company, regardless of size. In fact, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 67 percent of respondents claimed to have suffered a cyber attack. What happens when a company gets hacked depends on the severity of the intrusion, but here are a few possibilities that could come as a result.
The cost of a security breach is not something you want to find out from experience. Depending on the situation, financial loss can range anywhere from minor to substantial. In some cases, a data breach can even lead a business to bankruptcy. A few factors that could lead to financial loss include:
- Extra Expenses: To keep your business running despite your network being down, you may have to invest in alternative means for operation until the situation is fixed.
- Lost Income: As long as your network is down, your business would unlikely be able to perform transactions online. This would result in missed opportunities for sales.
- Extortion: If a hacker manages to get their hands on sensitive information, they could threaten to expose the data to the public unless you pay a ransom. Or if your network is affected by ransomware, the malware could encrypt your data and require you to send payment before you could regain access.
While not as quantifiable as financial loss, reputational damage is another major way a cyber attack can impact small businesses. Trust is an essential part of a business relationship. If your business succumbs to a security breach, it could shake the customer’s confidence in your organization. Once this trust erodes, customers will want to leave your business for another they feel confident in. Reputational damage can also cost a small business relationships with investors, suppliers, and third-party vendors.
Nowadays, organizations are expected to follow compliance guidelines to protect consumer information. Data protection and privacy laws require you to maintain the security of all personal data you hold for your customers, as well as employed staff. If you fail to protect personal information, whether accidentally or deliberately, your business may face regulatory fines or sanctions.
For your business, you rely on data to inform your decisions. A successful cyber attack could potentially damage or erase important information. Losing valuable data could set a company back weeks, months, or even years.
Protect Your Business With ITque
Having a competent IT team can help you avoid the cost of a data breach. If you run a small business and can’t afford your own IT department, then outsource your cyber security to ITque. We are an industry-leading IT provider that offers comprehensive security services that are affordable and can be custom-tailored to meet the needs of your business, including disaster recovery and data backup. With us as your partner, you can rest easy knowing experienced technicians are looking out for your business.
If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can benefit your operations, contact us today to set up a meeting.