The Real Cost of a Cyber Security Attack

The Real Cost of a Cyber Security Attack

How to be Prepared as an Organization

Technology and digital information are changing how the world does business at an increasingly fast rate. But, as quickly as the digital sphere is evolving, so is criminal activity in the form of cybercrimes.

In fact, in just the first half of last year (2019), attacks on IoT devices tripled, while file-less attacks grew by 256% according to a 2020 CSO report.

Cyber attacks don’t just happen to large corporations with access to private information from thousands of customers… Small businesses are equally at risk, accounting for 43% of total attacks according to CNBC. While many companies are implementing teleworking in response to COVID-19, it is important that businesses of all sizes make security defense a top priority before they are faced with the detrimental costs of recovery.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

When a business suffers a breach, the financial burden can be staggering. IBM Security’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report estimates an average financial loss due to a data breach to be $3.86 million, with healthcare being the most expensive industry topping $7.13 million. The same study concluded that the average time to identify and contain a breach was 280 days. In a separate study done by Hiscox, it was found that 60% of businesses go under within 6 months of being victimized.

These costs are encompassing of everything from lost wages and productivity, to attorney’s fees and ransom payouts. While organizations who are protected usually end up not giving into a ransom, a 2019 report from Data Breach Today showed that an average ransom payout from Q3 was $41,198 – an increase of 13% from Q2 and 6x the same quarter in 2018.

BRAND MANAGEMENT

Like the financial impacts of a cyber attack, repairing a brand’s reputation after a breach can take years. In the first few months of 2020 alone, there has been some sort of digital attack on familiar companies like Microsoft, Estee Lauder, Walgreens, Carnival Cruise Lines, Marriott, Zoom, Facebook, and Nintendo reports IdentityForce. In addition, nearly half of all small businesses reported a breach within the last year.

Not all breaches result in hackers accessing stored payment information, but instead can release email addresses, login information, and medical data – which is equally as harmful in some instances.

In exceptionally sensitive industries like banking and medical records, one incident can be the end of customer faith and even trust within entire market segments.

Restoring consumer trust is another excruciating expense comprised of efforts in public relations, marketing, and communications. Not to mention the loss of revenue that will be reflected by customers who choose to part with the organization.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

480 new high-tech threats are introduced each minute according to anti-virus provider McAfee, yet cyber security training is provided to only 3 out of 10 employees. Likewise, 6 in 10 small businesses have no digital defense plan in place and 66% believe they are not at risk of an attack.

At a minimum, some low-tech strategies that can be implemented right away include: daily backups, installing anti-virus software and encryption tools, routinely monitoring and scanning devices connected to a system, and staff training.

It is estimated that 93% of all breaches can be avoided by identifying vulnerabilities and putting security measures into place.

Working with a company like Frontier Technologies will ensure your organization is protected against critical attacks and taking progressive measures to keep your business, employees, and customers safe against cyber crimes.