The impact of cyber crime: Why cybersecurity should be your priority
While most of us are sleeping, a professional, cyber-military-trained team is attempting to fight off wave after wave of cyber attacks. And that's necessary in a world in which cybercrime has become a professional industry, causing trillions of dollars in damages every year. Companies like Westpac take cybersecurity seriously — dedicating a war room and a highly specialised team towards identifying and mitigating the most powerful threats. Smaller businesses may not have the resources required to hire military-trained staff, but that doesn't mean they are powerless.
The state of cybersecurity in Australia
Cybercrime is the second largest threat to Australian GDP. Westpac alone experiences cybercrime up to three times a day. Cybercriminals are aware that small businesses have assets that they need to protect, but that they often don't have the money to invest in the best software and hardware. Due to this, cybercriminals attack small businesses more than larger enterprises, as they are seen as having vulnerabilities that a large enterprise does not.
Though your business may not have the resources that a company like Westpac does, it needs to protect its core assets with just as much vigilance. This often has to occur through the use of advanced cyber attack technologies, which leverage the use of cloud resources to provide superior protection with minimal cost.
These solutions use complex algorithms to detect potential cyber attacks without having to have a team of professionals available to counter each and every malicious event. When not protected, businesses may experience a wide array of negative effects, such as the following.
1. Cybercrime ultimately leads to significant and direct financial disruption
Cybercrime is a reality that Australian businesses need to be prepared for. Organisations experience cyber attacks every day, which cost Australian businesses a total of $29 billion a year. Most businesses will experience a cyber attack during their operations, but by the same token, most businesses that experience a large-scale cyber attack will find themselves out of business within the year. In fact, in the United States, 60% of small businesses struck by cybercriminals will go out of business within the next six months.
Not only does cybercrime have a detrimental impact on profits, but it can create long-term damage to a company's reputation and ability to grow. Nevertheless, many small business owners find themselves unable to protect their organisation, as they don't have the resources necessary to monitor their networks.
2. Business disruption and lost productivity follow cyber attacks
On an individual level, cybercrime can be debilitating. When a cyber attack occurs, a business suffers from costly and time-consuming disruption. Not only must businesses invest in repairing and improving their systems, but they must also re-train their employees and manage damage to their reputation.
Even after the cyber attack has been dealt with, the damage remains. Despite the fact that many organisations will experience a cyber attack during their operations, a large-scale cyber attack causes substantial harm to an organisation's reputation. Ultimately, this leads to lost contracts and lost client relationships, as the business must struggle to repair its public relations.
3. Long-term damages from a cyber attack include loss of reputation
Businesses don't just need to invest in new security and mitigating the direct damages of their attack. Often, they must also deal with the loss of financial information or the loss of their IP. Businesses may need to audit and move their financial accounts, as well as attempting to recover their stolen IP. The business may never be able to fully recover the value of its lost assets.
Of course, the assets themselves also involve significant disruption. Cash can be lost due to ransomware and other cyber attacks could lead the organisation without the cash buffer it needs to survive. Confidential IP could be lost that may be imperative to the company's continued existence. This happens because IP can be sold in other nations where other companies are free to use them.
Small businesses must educate themselves on cybersecurity if they want to protect themselves from both short- and long-term financial damages. A full-scale digital transformation can ultimately lead to the implementation of advanced security measures, even if they may not be able to deliver the full "war room" experience that companies like Westpac strive for.
Professional cybercrime is a growing industry, and organisations throughout Australia may be at risk. Getting the C-suite on board with major technological changes can be difficult. If you need advice about evolving your business to survive in this new environment, TEC can help. The Executive Connection is a single, consolidated network through which business owners and entrepreneurs can connect to share information, experience, and support.