The Impact That a Cyber Security Breach Can Have on a Business

A cyber security breach is stressful, terrifying, and can be incredibly damaging to a business. However, it is also a reality for companies of all sizes, ages, and industries. Understanding how, where, when, and why a breach occurs can go a long way to preventing a successful breach from exposing sensitive data, personal information, and consumer information. According to IBM Security, the average total cost of a data breach is $3.92 million.

It is the age of cybercrime, and attacks on businesses across the board continue to rise.


Cyber Security Breaches are at an All-Time High

Cyber security breaches are at an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down. Many of the IT security trends from 2018 remain prominent, but there are also new features arising in the security landscape, helping to fuel the ongoing epidemic. These include:

1. The Rise of Novel Cyber Attack Tactics

2018 saw the rise of novel forms of attack such as cryptojacking and ransomware attacks, and 2019 and 2020 continue that trend. According to Symantec, there are several new types of cyber attacks that are becoming more popular.

This year has seen an increase in:

  • Formjacking. In this form of digital credit card skimming, criminals inject malicious code onto an e-commerce website that steals credit card information.
  • Living off the land attacks (LotL). As open-source and cloud-based software becomes more prevalent, LotL attacks are on the rise. These attacks use off-the-shelf software to hack a site or computer in the hopes that the network activity will look like a legitimate operation. Several of the largest attacks in 2019 constituted LoTL attacks.

2. More Clever Spins on Tried-and-True Methods

Cisco reveals that phishing emails have remained as popular as ever. Hackers are not afraid to find new ways to leverage this age-old trick. Because of this, the average employee now has to look out for much more than spoof emails.

Among the many new, ingenious phishing schemes were:

  • Business email compromise (BEC). In a BEC attack, a hacker spoofs an email from a manager or CEO, requesting an employee to carry out some business function, task or disclose certain sensitive information.
  • Invoice Trojan horses. Instead of trying to convince an employee to log into a suspicious link via email, some phishers embed malware into a document that looks like an invoice an employee might be expected in hopes they will open it.

3. Criminals Are Looking Beyond Obvious Targets

Businesses large and small are facing cyber security threats. Moreover, the latter is becoming an increasingly popular target because they are likely to be unprepared for such an attack. However, hackers are looking even beyond the smallest businesses and startups. Even utility companies like the Tennessee Valley Authority are finding it critical to develop robust cyber defenses. 


The Impact of a Breach to a Business

A 2018 report by the U.S. government estimates that cyber security breaches cost the US economy between $57 and 109 billion annually – a number that is only growing. Companies typically sustain significant financial losses in the form of containment expenses, downtime, fines, and lost business.

However, these immediate financial consequences are often only the tip of the iceberg. Other impacts which a company might experience include: 

  • Loss of or damage to business data. Losing business data can affect a company’s ability to operate. For example, consider the epidemic of ransomware attacks that continue to hit government offices. By locking up municipal data, offices cannot perform any of their normal business functions that make the local government-run. As a result, the attack becomes incredibly valuable to criminals seeking a ransom.
  • Loss of consumer trust and business reputation. A data breach in a business is typically accompanied by a backlash from consumers, who are often the ones to bear the brunt of consequences from a cyber security breach. When personal data has been exposed or stolen, customers feel betrayed. Reputation loss after a cyber attack can also make it hard to find new customers.
  • Long-lasting financial repercussions. The 2019 cyber security report sponsored by IBM has an alarming new statistic. As many as 11% of businesses report financial implications – lost revenue or increased expenses – for as long as three years following a cyber security breach.

In a recent global study by Gemalto, they surveyed 10,000 individuals and 70% claimed they would stop doing business with a company that had experienced a data breach. While large companies may be able to absorb the loss of customers that results, for small to medium businesses, reputation damage and loss of customers can prove devastating. With that being said, a cyber security breach could have a detrimental impact on your business.


Why Deploy Managed IT Services to Secure Your Network

With only 34% of security professionals feeling confident in their company’s cyber security strategy, many companies are looking for viable ways to improve security without draining their IT budget. Managed IT services are one such way in which companies can accomplish this goal.

Managed IT services:

  • Deliver network security without any missed endpoints or weak spots. Cybercriminals exploit weak spots in a company’s security infrastructure, such as unsecured printers or shadow IT. Managed IT providers are explicitly trained to look for these things.
  • Ensure faster discovery and response time for breaches. IBM estimates that the average company takes 279 days to identify and contain a breach. With a managed service provider, that time is cut down, reducing the opportunity for data exposure and data leaks.
  • Deliver expert security for less than in-house acquisition. Managed IT services are a convenient, affordable way to access best-in-class security infrastructure that is tailored to an organization’s needs.

Let RJ Young Help Protect Your Business from a Cyber Security Breach

Every business is at risk for a cyber security breach, therefore a business should always be prepared to deal with one. The type of cyber security breach, your industry, location, and organizations’ structure are all factors of how long it takes to identify and contain a data breach. The average time to contain a breach is 279 days, according to Ponemon Institute.

By enlisting the help of a seasoned team of security experts from RJ Young, companies can stay a step ahead of hackers and avoid the harmful consequences of a security breach.

RJ Young works with companies in Huntsville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Birmingham, and throughout the Southeast to develop best-in-class IT infrastructure.

Contact RJ Young today to discuss your cyber security challenges.