As cyber-attacks continue to sweep across the globe, the pressure is also increasing for IT providers and security professionals to keep security measures a top priority. An article on Entrepreneur explores the consequences of falling victim to a data breach and ways to prepare for one in the event it were to occur. While you may suspect the pressure would be coming from top executives, the reality is that security professionals are also putting the pressure on themselves.
In fact, 53 percent of IT professionals felt more pressure to secure their organization last year, compared to 2015, according to the 2017 Security Pressures Report from Trustwave.”
While small businesses may feel that they are not a target for cybercriminals, the statistics suggest otherwise.
And while the headlines seem to focus on large name brands, according to studies, 71 percent of cyber-attacks occur at businesses with fewer than 100 employees, showing small businesses are just as much at risk, and the pressure spans IT teams far and wide.”
Unfortunately, no matter how prepared an organization may be, data breaches still occur. In the 2017 Security Pressure Report, Trustwave discusses four impacts of a data breach on small businesses, startup businesses and IT professionals and what measures can be taken to avoid a data breach.
- “Irreconcilable reputation damage”
While a data breach doesn’t look good for any organization, the damage it can do to the reputation of a small business can sometimes be too heavy to recover from. Large corporations often have a stronger reputation, so while a breach would certainly damage that reputation, they are at a greater advantage than a small business to recover. In some cases, organizations will also choose not to partner with a business that has faced a data breach, another difficulty to overcome.
- “Permanent financial damages”
“According to the Ponemon Institute, the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000, and for middle market companies it’s more than $1 million.” This cost can also increase if the business suffering from the breach needs to hire outside IT professionals.
- “Ousting of the ‘responsible’ parties”
Although this repercussion may often be overlooked, it is another item businesses must deal with following a data breach. Firing of the individual or individuals, “who at one point oversaw a web site, or internal computer system that was compromised.”
- “Deadly consequences following a breach”
Unfortunately, going out of business is a real possibility for an organization who suffered from a data breach. “In fact, the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber-attack”
What security measures can SMB’s and startups take to prepare for a breach?
Having an incident response plan in place and testing it to ensure it is successful is key. While most businesses focus on how to avoid falling victim to a data breach, it is important to ensure your organization knows how to respond in the event one was to occur.
Another way to help prepare for a data breach is by finding a partner who can help take some of the pressure off your organization. Finding outside IT professionals to assist your internal security team will be of great benefit in the event of a breach.