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15 May, 19

3 ways cyber crime impacts business

Hackers are ingenious. They can strike at any time, in unexpected ways. Take the recent targeted surveillance attack on WhatsApp, which exploited a vulnerability in what is supposed to be one of the most secure communications apps around. The attack was unprecedented and, seemingly, caught Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) unawares. Still, the consequences of such an incident are far-reaching and potentially devastating. That’s why, in this blog we’re going to be looking at 3 ways cyber crime impacts business.

Financial repercussions

There’s no doubt that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated. While the occasional naïve email asking for money to be directed to a mysterious bank account can still get through even the most advanced of spam filters, users have largely grown wise to this sort of practice. 

However, when faced with an underground network of gangs and potentially even larger organisations with unknown motives, it’s all too easy to fall victim. As appears to be the case with WhatsApp, these are hackers who are one step ahead of the game – they’re highly technically skilled and able to quickly take advantage of any weaknesses.

Often, the motives are financial. Ransomware, a type of malware which locks access to vital files until a ransom is paid, is nothing if not a money-making scheme. Meanwhile, information such as credit card details stored on a computer is irresistible – especially when a business is not taking sufficient care of the data it stores.

Not only is there the potential for a company to suffer direct financial loss as a result of data theft, but the disruption to day-to-day operations while a fix is found can prove time-consuming.

Reputational damage

Around 32% of businesses reported experiencing a cyber security breach or attack in the previous 12 months, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019.  

It isn’t just big corporations who are affected either. Small businesses are just as vulnerable if they don’t take appropriate measures to protect their IT infrastructure. What’s more, when considering that the same report showed an average of £4,180 in annual losses for businesses who had experienced a breach, then it’s clear that this could have a substantial impact on the bottom line.

The long-term reputational damage is difficult to quantify. Whether or not you have been the unwitting victim of a criminal mastermind clever enough to outfox the finest minds working for Facebook and Google, customers tend not to be so forgiving.

If you’ve stored their data and lost their data, it is going to be a struggle to regain their trust.   

Legal consequences

Even if data is accidentally compromised – and even if you have cause to believe the breach is through no fault of your own, that you were instead the victim of a targeted attack – you may still find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), failure to comply with data protection principles can carry a heavy penalty.

So, what can be done to minimise the risk of fallout from a cyber attack?

A backup of your data (and our plans start from just over £3 a month) should be part of your resilience plan – to help you to deal with even the nastiest of surprises. Choose Backup Heroes for:

  • Affordable backup plans
  • Peace-of-mind protection to get your business up and running if the worst was to happen
  • Secure storage of your data in transit and at rest

To make an enquiry about our backup plans, email us on hello@backupheroes.co.uk or call 0845 6460146.