Cyber-criminals do not only target big organizations; in fact, cyber-attackers are increasingly targeting small businesses. This increase in cyber-attackers targeting small businesses is due, in part, to a lack of cybersecurity knowledge for small business owners. Learning more about the potential cost of a successful cyber-attack can help small business owners understand the need for cybersecurity protection.
What are the Consequences of Cyber Attacks?
Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and their consequences are becoming increasingly severe. Businesses aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of a cyber-attack, but their staff and customers too. Some of the consequences of a successful cyber-attack include:
- A loss of customer information
- A breakdown in business operations
- Loss of private company data
- Loss of company money
The list above outlines just a few of the consequences that result directly after a cyber-attack; however, these effects are by no means limited. A successful cyber-attack can have devastating long-term consequences for a small business. Around 60% of small businesses that experience a successful cyber-attack close down within six months.
There are many reasons why a successful cyber-attack can be so devastating for a small business. The attack can have very serious financial consequences if an attacker gains access to company bank details or performs a ransomware attack. A successful cyber-attack can also devastate a company’s infrastructure, so they are unable to recover.
When a cyber-attack results in a loss of customer data, it can cause serious long-term reputational damage. Consumers are increasingly aware of the dangers of cyber-attacks and are likely to avoid conducting business with a company that has experienced a successful cyber-attack. Studies have shown that customers will avoid a company for years after a successful cyber-attack. In addition, if the attack has led to a loss of customer data, a business might also be liable to legal consequences.
How to Protect Your Business Against Cyber-Attacks
With the threat of a successful cyber-attack being so serious, it is vital that businesses have effective protection measures in place. Some of the most effective ways to protect your small business against a cyber-attack include:
Staff that are unaware of potential risks and threats can put your business at risk. Therefore, you should implement effective training to ensure staff are aware of the best cybersecurity practices.
Use a Managed Security Solution
Using a managed security service is the best way to ensure that you remain protected against potential threats. In addition, having a team of cybersecurity experts working with your business will offer business owners much-needed peace of mind.
Back up your Files Regularly
Even when you have dedicated security measures in place, it is always useful to conduct regular back-ups. You should back up all business data at least once a month to ensure that you are able to continue operations in the case of a technological breakdown. A cyber-attack does not always cause data loss; it can be the result of a systems breakdown or natural disaster. Backing up your company data regularly will ensure you are able to access vital information whenever you need it.