IT security is the business risk that you can’t afford to ignore. Affecting every function of your organisation, IT security impacts the way every department operates. In fact, improving your organisation’s security posture has never been more important, as a single data breach or cyberattack can ruin cash flow, impede revenue and cause serious reputational damage.
Reputation or Brand Damage
A cyberattack or data breach can seriously undermine consumer confidence in your brand because any data leaked online can have serious repercussions for your brand. Your competitors can exploit this by sowing seeds of doubt in your customers’ minds about your ability to protect their data. Our training teaches your employees the best practice data-handling techniques, which will minimise the risk of a data leak.
A major cyberattack or data breach can affect the calibre of employees wanting to work for your organisation. Talented individuals might perceive competitor organisations as being more stable, more vigilant and having a better work environment.
A cyberattack can bring your daily operations to a complete standstill. When Maersk, a Danish shipping company, identified their IT systems had been attacked, their worldwide operations came to a halt. And when the French television station, TV5, experienced a crippling cyberattack, their operations came to an immediate closure.
There are countless stories of how cyberattacks have forced organisations to cease their operations. More than just a business inconvenience, cyberattacks can cause long-lasting damage to the way that your firm operates. With the right planning and implementation, you can identify threats before they become risks.
Intellectual Property Theft
Economic espionage has been leveled mainly at defense-related and high-tech industries. But recent FBI cases have shown that no industry, large or small, is immune to the threat. Any company with a proprietary product, process, or idea can be a target.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Your competitors want to have a competitive advantage over you. Most are honourable and exercise fair play. However, some will be less scrupulous and can use “hackers-for-hire” type services to steal intellectual property and trade secrets. Pre-made exploit kits that use Remote Access Trojans, keyloggers, Advanced Persistent Threats and a host of other data-stealing malware can result in product designs, merger and acquisition plans and customer databases being exfiltrated from your organisation. This data can end up literally anywhere – with your competitors, foreign governments, leaked to the media or being sold on the so-called “dark web”. A substantial number of these threats are installed on computers, tablets and phones by the users themselves while they are under the influence of social engineering.
Cyberattacks and data breaches often mean that systems are taken offline for disinfection and re-imaging. When this happens, employees can’t be productive. Even worse, business processes are interrupted, and customers may purchase alternative solutions. Productivity loss always leads to a loss of revenue that many firms simply can’t recoup
A data breach can result in consumers and employees being the victims of identity theft. For consumers, this could mean they will no longer spend their Euros on your organisation’s products and services. Additionally, employees will need reassurance and, at times, access to costly services to ensure that their private information is safe after the attack.
In the event of a data breach, your organisation becomes susceptible to legal action. Whether it’s a class action lawsuit filed by angry customers, or having your legal team investigate the source of a suspected internal breach, cyberattacks almost always mean spending more resources on non-business and non-revenue generating operations.
Whatever sector your organisation operates in, non-compliance with regulatory frameworks, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS or GDPR, can result in hefty fines and negative publicity. For example, under GDPR, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner can impose fines of up to 4% of an organisation’s global revenue.
The direct and indirect costs of a data breach or cyberattack can hurt the bottom line of your organisation. For example, after a data breach the pre-tax profit of TalkTalk, the UK telecoms company, fell to £14 million, compared to the £32 million they had made in the previous year.