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How A Cyber-Attack Can Ruin Your Business

Smaller companies may believe that their unknown status protects them from Cyber-Attacks. Even if you aren’t harboring cutting edge trade secrets, small-time Cyber-Attacks can have a large impact on your revenue. Not all Cyber-Attacks are the same, even if they contribute to similar outcomes.

Cyber Criminals employ a number of strategies depending on their ultimate goal. The most basic hack your business can experience is simple identity theft; for example, stealing your company credit card and running up fraudulent charges. If you run an e-commerce business, website Cyber-Attacks can lead to thousands of lost customers. When Cyber Criminals have easy access to your system, they can start by redirecting your site to one of their own.

Here’s another example. If ad placement on your page is the main source to generate a revenue stream, Cyber Criminals can steal your revenue by redirecting your site to one with their own ads. While consequences for users are relatively minor in this case, it may still undermine their trust in your site.

Most Cyber Criminals are far more malicious. They set up dummy sites that look like yours to trick customers into sharing their private credentials. By employing those websites, Cyber Criminals can easily exploit customer’s credentials.

With all of your customers’ data in their own databases, Cyber Criminals can not only compromise consumer trust in your business but also steal directly from the consumer. Often, customer credentials from one site can help a Cyber Criminal gain access to several other accounts.

Cyber Criminals can use these techniques to steal from you and your customers in multiple ways. It can cause a significant decrease in your sales and business revenue if your website goes down even for a few hours. When Sony and Microsoft were hit by a DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, attack in 2014, they supposedly lost as much as $39,000 an hour. While this was a big hit for the tech giants, they had the resources to bounce back. For a small business, the consequences would be devastating.

Cyber Criminals aren’t just looking to steal a person’s identity or shut down their system for a few hours. They are also trying to steal your trade secrets and intellectual property. Last year, a former Tesla employee admitted to stealing company secrets before passing them to outside parties. He accomplished this by writing a program that implemented a Cyber-Attack on Tesla’s software. Experts estimate these kinds of Cyber-Attacks are already responsible for losing millions of dollars of revenue.

There’s another caveat to consider. Since 2018, any website operating under the jurisdiction of the EU must comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). If the EU discovers that you haven’t taken appropriate measures to secure your website, you can be forced to pay a steep fine on top of the losses your business takes because of the hack.

This is why securing your website and databases are one of the most important things you can do to protect your business.

You may think that the costs of securing your website are too high. However, it costs significantly more, if you end up being a victim of a Cyber-Attack than it does to secure your network. Staying secure is an ongoing challenge, but it’s well worth the investment if you want to protect your assets.

According to a latest study, nearly 60% of small businesses close within six months of being a victim of Cyber-Attack. That’s a grim reality for business owners. But small businesses are far from the main targets. Many news articles published in 2019 revealed that 83-91% of login attempts on any retail website are Cyber Criminals using stolen credentials.

These Cyber-Attacks range from phishing attempts to malware attacks and data leaks. Small companies may appear more vulnerable, but the data shows the opposite to be true. 75% of the top 500 companies experienced a Cyber-Attack in the past decade. These companies include top banks and insurance firms; in other words, companies whose databases hold sensitive information about their customers.

There’s a good reason large companies are more likely to fall for Cyber-Attack. Because they have more infrastructures, Cyber Criminals have a larger “attack surface.” This means they have more opportunities to find an opening into their system. Their systems are also more complex than those of smaller enterprises. The more complex a software system, the more bugs there are. More bugs mean more ways for Cyber Criminals to exploit the system for their own gain.

Huge enterprise can lose billions of dollars, if they become a target of Cyber. However, the situation can seem even more desperate when even major tech companies struggle to properly secure their data. Ethical Cyber Criminals can help companies by finding vulnerabilities in their systems, but making these reports public can also highlight these weaknesses for malicious actors. Cyber Criminals can then exploit those weaknesses before the company closes the breach.

The financial repercussions of Cyber-Attacksare clear, but there are other ways that a data leak can deeply impact consumers. Everyone worry about the financial fallout from having their account information leaked or exposed through a retail site. However, by simply exposing a buyer’s retail can sometimes disclose credit card information or addresses information.

 

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