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Developing a deeper understanding of the effects of cyber-attacks on business

Short-Term Effects of Cyber-attacks

Cyber-attacks can disrupt and destabilize your business significantly. Denial of service attacks (DoS attacks) and Ransomware attacks are a perfect example of this. In the first type of attack your network can get overwhelmed by a flood of spam accounts that prevent requests from legitimate customers and requests from ever reaching your servers. This can prevent your customers from accessing, browsing and checking out rendering your website useless and eventually crashing your servers completely. Bad service requests from a website can be a huge turn off, especially for new or prospective customers. Ransomware, on the other hand, is a form of malware that can infect your system and encrypt your data – essentially locking you out of your own system and mission-critical data such as customer, employee, and tactical data. Malicious actors can demand certain actions or financial settlement in return for providing access to the decryption key. Ransomware attacks tend to be a game of loss for businesses as there is no guarantee that the criminals will actually properly return your data and won’t just disappear with both your data and money. They could also choose to publicly disclose the data or sell it on the dark web to cause widespread damage. Criminals often insist on payment through Bitcoin as the payment form remains anonymous and untraceable. There are also multiple other forms of cyber-attacks that can leave a devastating financial, operational and reputational impact to your business. To protect yourself from such attacks please consult Cybersecurity New Jersey.


Long-Term Effects of Cyber-attacks

Reputational damage is the most obvious of the long-term effects of cyber-attacks. Customers have started to take violations of privacy very seriously and will often boycott a company or brand all together if the data breach is severe. It’s a losing proposition for companies as a history of data breaches can also scare off new customers from ever approaching your business. Other long-term effects of cyber-attacks include lawsuits and fines. If the data breach results in the disclosure of a substantial amount of personal information of consumers or employees, it could very well attract civil lawsuits that linger on for years and can prove fatally expensive for businesses. Moreover, if the business happens to be in a highly regulated industry, such as dealing with healthcare information and fails to adhere to HIPAA compliance or BAA compliance, then the company can be fined severely. For most companies, it is the damage mitigation and long-term effects of cyber-attacks that ultimately prove debilitating both financially and with respect to reputation. Companies often have to hire expensive PR firms in order to deal with clients tactfully, notify them of the breach and handle PR. To protect yourself from cyber-attacks happening in the first place, please refer to IT Support NJ.

3 Ways cyber-attacks hurt your business

Cyber-attacks can cripple your operations

The outages caused by cyber-attacks can bring your entire operations to a standstill. Even your mission critical data can become out of reach and your teams could get locked out of their systems. Needless to say, your productivity can be zero during outages and you could lose critical business opportunities and cause frustration for customers. The scope of the attack can vary from minor disruptions to complete business shutdown. For several hours or months after the attack, you will have to dedicate your resources to restoring systems, clean-up, determining the root causes of the attack, and fixing the vulnerabilities.

Loss of privileged information and customer data

Compromised data during a breach can include anything from proprietary business information to personally identifiable information of customers and employees. The primary motive behind most data breaches is to gain access to this confidential customer data and highly sensitive business information such as patents, business secrets, personal, health and financial data, employee records, etc. Attackers may offer to restore your access to the data if you meet their demands – generally a lumpsum financial settlement. However, paying in the case of cyber-attacks such as ransomware attacks does not always work as criminals may very well take your money and still not provide you with a decryption key or even if they do, the data may still be damaged or not properly restored. The attack could also successfully modify, erase or overwrite your database, that typically costs businesses a whole lot of time, money, and other resources to restore.

Cyber-attacks may result in major reputation loss for your business

Cyber-attacks can have a devastating impact on customer trust, brand loyalty, shareholder trust, and overall reputation. They may even prevent new customers and potential business partners from associating with your business.

How to Avoid Cyber-attacks?

Since I bet attacks have such damaging impact on businesses, most businesses want to avoid the turbulent scenario of recovering from any sort of cyber-attack at all. However, this implies making cyber security a primary objective in your business operations and proactively keeping on top of latest cyberthreats and defense strategies in order to continuously evaluate your own defense strategies and make changes or upgrades whenever required. Cyber defense is an ongoing process and most businesses require proper consultation with niche cyber security experts so they can zero down on the most effective strategies. The most effective tool a business can have in place against evolving cyber threats is a CIAM software. These offer centralized monitoring and advanced security features, and helps you provide your customers and employees with thorough 360-degree protection with identity-centric security features such as consumer registration, user account management, single sign-on (SSO), access management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), data access governance, compliance-ready features, and directory services. Managed IT Services New Jersey can help you implement the same.

Sharon Arena

Sharon Arena is the Marketing Coordinator at Olmec Systems, LLC. Sharon studied Marketing Analytics and Data Research at Post University in Waterbury, CT. She has 15+ years of experience in direct marketing, sales and operations management.