Just a few days ago we have heard about a major cyber attack on one of Malta’s biggest banks. Sophisticated cyber attacks which may have the potential to steal sensitive company information and data can bring large organisations to their knees and in the case of such on banks, it can destroy entire economies.
The reality of cybercrime is that it is progressing rapidly every day with continuously refined hacking technologies and social engineering techniques. For every advancement in cybersecurity, innovative cybercrime attempts are developed to not only counter but supersede these. With these serious advancements, where one can steal from behind a computer, businesses need to be constantly vigilant and arm themselves against such attacks, which may bring severe consequences to their existence.
Businesses are more susceptible to such cybercrime, today more than ever, considering that all organisations need to have an online presence. Such examples of online presence and activity include email correspondence, websites and social media pages. All these may be used as a source to infiltrate and damage a company’s reputation. The scary reality is that businesses can be hacked without them even knowing! An example of how this may occur is by downloading software which is disguised as something legit, such as an antivirus or accessing a virtual private network. Once such software is downloaded, it may cause serious damage, and cannot be removed easily.
So how can cyberattacks destroy your business?
Loss of information
To make valuable business decisions you need information and data. A cyber attack can steal your company’s most important data, including that of your customers. They can use this data to threaten your company’s reputation by selling it to someone else or by exposing it to the public. You can end up in a situation where you will be forced to pay an amount of money as ransom, with still no guarantee of data safety. Not only that but you can end up in the midst of very severe legal implications if customer data has been stolen and distributed.
Cyber attacks can cripple your platforms within minutes and it can take weeks to achieve full restoration. This will lead to lost days of sales and instead of focusing your attention as to what can make you money, you will need to divert it to major IT issues. A simple DDoS attack can bring down your website in less than sixty seconds and has impacted big organisations such as PayPal and Twitter.
A cyber attack can drive your business to bankruptcy. Research indicates that over half of businesses that experience cyberattacks end up being bankrupt. Apart from the lawsuits which may ensue following the breach of customer data, the reputational damage is also problematic as customers will no longer want to deal with a company which does not have a strong IT security backbone.
The impacts of a sophisticated cyber attack may be too severe and can wipe out a company’s existence. Always ensure the best IT security practices for your business. Such practices which are strongly recommended include using strong passwords, organised back-ups, encrypted data and robust software to defend against viruses and malware.