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The Hidden Costs of a Data Breach

Hooded figure committing a data breach in a hidden location.

We are accustomed to seeing news stories of large companies being the victim of data breaches, personal data of customers lost, company files gone, and even significant financial losses. Many small to midsize companies may look at these incidents and think ‘we aren’t big enough to worry about that’. This isn’t the sort of reaction they should be having. According to the Ponemon 2017 State of Cybersecurity report, medium-sized businesses suffer losses at an average of $2.2M from a cyber attack. You might be wondering how one single attack can cost so much to one company. It may be one attack, but it has many dire consequences. The costs add up. 

Operational Downtime

The first cost that many businesses do not account for after a cyber attack is operational downtime. This can affect any and every industry. A hospital could lose private patient records, a bank could lose sensitive financial information, and after suffering from this attack they will incur fines.  Manufacturing and retail businesses are also at risk for data breaches, even without the need for handling sensitive customer information. There might not be a fine to pay for the loss of customer data for a manufacturing plant in Ohio, but if a cyber attack were to shut down your entire network, then your operations are shut down, levering extensive impact on your revenue. Most industries these days have their revenue streams tied to technology. It’s likely in these scenarios your operation would be shut down for multiple days until specialists are able to find and remove the problem. So not only are you paying for the specialists to eradicate the issue, you are also paying the operational costs associated with the shutdown. Every type of business is a target for hackers looking to steal serious cash from their victims. This is only the first cost after a data breach. 

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Not only do you have to worry about operational shutdowns, but you also have to consider that your attacker isn’t going away. They shut down your network, and then hold you ransom for vast amounts of money in order to enable you to get back to business as usual. But there’s no guarantee that the attacker that shut your business down will keep their word. Even if they give you access to your operations again, they have still compromised your security, they are still present in your network, and nothing is stopping them from holding you ransom again. They could charge you in dollars, euros, or even bitcoin! If you consider not caving into the demands of your attacker, then you must have technology and processes in place to stop them before it happens or prepare to build everything again from scratch. 

Reputational Damage

It’s not just having your money stolen, operational downtime costs or being held captive by ransomware; you can pay the price by losing your well-deserved reputation. Being compromised by attackers and, in the process of losing customer data, personal information and bank details can lead to your customers losing trust in your company. Perhaps you think you can pay for a capable IT security team to come in and clean up the mess after being held up by a hacker. You might be able to keep it hush from your customers for a while, but you can’t keep it quiet from other people in your industry for very long, especially not your competitors. Once your industry peers find out, the next step is your competitors, and after that, it isn’t long before they are using this information to seed distrust within your customer base. Who wants to do business or entrust their details with a company that can’t keep said details safe and secure? You don’t just lose money, you watch your competitors pick up your customers and the profits you potentially had coming your way. It’s hard to rebuild that trust again; you can back up files, but it’s not possible to backup a customer base after a data breach. 

How do you Avoid The Crippling Price of A Data Breach?

The reason companies have to pay for specialists to come in and clean up breaches after the fact is simple; they don’t have a monitoring solution that can detect an attack or vulnerabilities before it has happened. This could be due to budgetary constraints, the high demand for skilled security experts, and/or the fact that so many IT specialists so often want a change of scene. This can mean that an in-house solution is not seen as a viable solution for most companies.

More and more companies are discovering the solution, though — and the solution is to outsource security monitoring to a managed service provider. This gives their company 24/7 cyber protection and support. TBConsulting’s Cybersecurity Solutions provide complete system support to help organizations stay ahead of potential threats and vulnerabilities. They can have peace of mind that sensitive employee documents, proprietary information, and other valuable data are kept secure and protected. TBC can reduce the risk of cyber-attacks while keeping your company’s reputation and financial assets safeguarded. Too many cybersecurity architecture breaches aren’t recognized until it is too late.

Don’t let your company fall victim to cyber attackers due to a lack of visibility concerning your security vulnerabilities. Interested to hear more about how to monitor or prevent breaches? Learn more about how TBC’s managed cybersecurity offering can provide this critical protection of your data and your business. 


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