IBM recently announced at the THINK Sydney 2022 conference that cyber security is the issue of the decade. The prevalence of hacks and cyber crime lurking on every virtual corner seems to affirm this sentiment. On both a professional and personal level, everyone should be alert to cyber security and its consequences. However, this is not always the case. People can easily become complacent or even apathetic towards cyber security because there is seemingly a lack of real world consequences. Despite this, the effects of cyber crime can extend well beyond just losing access to an account or your PC. Here are some of the real world consequences of cybercrime.
First, and perhaps most obviously, cyber crime and cyber security will disrupt business. Whether it be a major security breach, a hack or compromise – you may be offline for hours or even days.
Consequently, while you work to resolve an attack your organisation may not be able to run as normal. This means that for every day you spend recovering from an attack, your business loses money.
An Australian cyber security report found the following:
- 40% of businesses who reported a cyber security issue experienced some form of business disruption.
- 29% of businesses experienced productivity loss during a cyber attack.
- It took on average 23 days to resolve an attack, and that figure would increase to 51 days if the attack came from an insider, employee or a contractor.
Personal and financial loss
Beyond business disruption and downtime, you may also suffer personal loss as a result of poor cyber security awareness. A cyber attack costs $200,000 on average to a business. This may include payment of wages during downtime, loss of revenue and cost to rectify the cyber security issue.
However, financial losses don’t stop there. Here are some other financial possibilities as a result of a cyber attack:
- Credit card and or banking information may be compromised and drained.
- In the event of a ransomware attack, someone may have paid the ransom. (Read here why you should NEVER pay the ransom).
Another long-term financial consequence of cyber crime could be the loss of your business’ reputation. Given its current prevalence, cyber security is at the forefront of people’s minds. Whether you are customer facing or a business-to-business organisation, the people you work with need to have confidence in your company. Consequently, a lack of training or interest in cyber security can and will lead to a cyber attack.
Traditionally there has been a lack of governance and transparency when a business endures some form of cyber crime involving people’s data. Businesses were not required to notify customers that their information had been compromised in a data breach. In response to this, governments around the world have begun enacting laws that require transparency in the event of mishandled or misused customer data. Major businesses who have had to be transparent about compromised customer data have faced severe backlash and detrimental reputation loss such as Canva & Ticketmaster.
Customers who have had their personal information leaked in a cyber attack or are somehow involved in a cyber security incident will consequently lose trust in your business. Maintaining trust and a good reputation with your customers and clients is paramount. By extension, partnering with a security-focused MSP is one way to protect yourself from cyber attacks and avoid the ensuing consequences associated with cyber crime.
Government Laws and Fines
Cyber security consequences also extend beyond personal losses, if your business handles sensitive customer data and this is somehow leaked and/or compromised, you may be held accountable by government laws and fines.
As previously discussed, governments and law-makers across the world have enacted strict laws and fines for businesses who mishandle or misuse sensitive data. In Australia, the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme (NDB) exists to hold businesses accountable for the handling of data breaches. Under this scheme, businesses who suffer a data breach must notify affected customers. Failure to comply with these laws could now result in a $2.1 million fine (maximum penalty). Repeat offenders could be fined up to $10 million or three times the value of benefits gained through the misuse of data.
How do I invest in my business’ cyber security?
Cyber security is your best line of defence against a cyber attack, which as we have discussed, have serious, real world consequences. Here are some ways you can invest in cyber security:
- Partner with a security-focused MSP – Here at Milnsbridge Managed IT Services, we take security seriously. Managed Service Providers have gradually shifted to become Managed Security Service Providers. This is reflective the ways that business IT priorities have changed over the last decade. You can read more about our Managed Security Services here.
- Train your team – The saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” absolutely applies to cyber security. Education is an important factor in a strong cyber security defence strategy. As this is a threat that is ever-changing, regular staff training is best practice.
If you would like to discuss Managed IT Security, please call Milnsbridge now on 1300 300 293 to speak to one of our friendly engineers.