2016 saw a marked upturn in the volume and creativity of hacks and mega breaches, with LinkedIn, Tumblr, Yahoo, AdultFriendFinder, Three Mobile, and Tesco Bank all hitting the headlines as victims of cyber crime. But although such attacks hurt big businesses and test customer trust, they’re not typically an extinction-level event. For small businesses, however, the likelihood of some type of breach is just as high if not higher, but their chances of making a full recovery are much slimmer.
The top 5 business impacts of cyber security breaches
Each organisation is unique in terms of the impact of a breach, dependent on the timing and duration, and the industry in which it operates. For example, a data breach may have more pronounced consequences for the financial sector than, say, in manufacturing. However, common impacts you should consider when evaluating your own security posture include:
Loss of customer and stakeholder trust can be the most harmful impact of cyber crime, since the overwhelming majority of people would not do business with a company that had been breached, especially if it failed to protect its customers’ data. This can translate directly into a loss of business, as well as devaluation of the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. Taking a reputational hit may also affect your ability to attract the best talent, suppliers and investors.