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According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, 46% of all UK businesses with over 99 employees saw at least one cyber attack during the last 12 months. The number rises to 72% when it comes to US firms, according to Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report. Statistics also suggest that most business leaders view cyber security as a top priority, but a majority have not taken any concrete steps to implement a cyber security policy.
This is alarming when you consider the severity of the damage that a cyber attack can deal. Some of the examples that jump to mind are:
- An employee stealing the information of over 350,000 clients from Morgan Stanley
- The hacking of Ashley Madison and the stealing of data belonging to its 37 million users
- The hacking of Democratic National Convention servers
- The data breach at Yahoo that compromised the data of over 1 billion users
- North Korea’s alleged cyber attack on Sony Pictures
Are you aware of the risks posed by cyber attacks?
It is not easy for business leaders to measure the impact of a cyber attack. Usually, the costs of cyber attacks are measured in terms of the money spent on technical investigations, implementation of stronger cyber security measures, compliance costs, and customer notifications. However, there are many other costs that your business may face as a direct or indirect result of cyber attacks or online frauds. The effect of the below factors can last over a much longer period compared to the initial fallout of the cyber attack.
- Erosion of customer trust: If your business loses data that belongs to a customer or client, there is a strong chance that you will see an increase in customer attrition. At the same time, the task of getting new customers or clients onboard becomes doubly difficult.
- Loss of business or profits: Often, companies that fail to protect the data of their clients end up losing contracts. In the face of indignant customer or clients who are angry at your business for failing to protect their data, your business may have to offer steep discounts to persuade the customers or clients to stay with you.
- Disruption in operations: In case you are attacked by malware or any other kind of sophisticated virus, there is a strong chance that many of your systems will be rendered unusable, leading to a disruption in operations.
- Loss of IP: Information related to your customer or your banking details is not the only sensitive information that can be stolen. For businesses that hold Intellectual Property (IP), the loss of information related to the IP can lead to a steep depreciation in its value. For small product companies or software development companies, the loss of IP can often be a death blow.
- Rise in insurance costs: Cyber attack premiums across the world have risen after a spate of high-profile attacks over the last decade. For businesses that are perceived to be at a higher risk (especially businesses that have been successfully targeted previously), the insurance premiums have skyrocketed.
Is your business ready to combat cybercrime and other types of fraud?
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Training your staff in fraud detection and prevention methods, and putting an information security policy in place are the keys to combating cyber-attacks and attempts at online fraud.
For expert information on what your business can do to prevent fraud, please join our cyber security expert, Amit Simon, on 26 June 2017 in the webinar: