How much of an impact would a cyber attack have on a business? This is a great question to ask if you own or operate a business. There is no generic answer to this question. Every business would suffer differently depending on the type of attack and the type of information had been compromised. Once it has been determined that you have been a victim of a cyber attack, the costs will begin to surface and become very real. If your business relies on computers and the internet and the attack has left your systems inoperable, then the cost are immediately visible and begin to grow fast.
Now you have to determine what information has been compromised and how long it has been exposed. To do this you may need to initiate and pay for a cyber forensic investigation. This is not inexpensive. It can cost upwards of $250-350 per hour and can take quite a bit of time to complete depending on how many files you have and how advanced the attack may have been. When you have determined what information has been compromised you now need to assess whether or not you have to notify any clients or businesses of the breach. If the information that was compromised is personal identifiable information such as:
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Credit card number
- Protected health information
- Confidential client information
you must immediately notify anyone who has had their information compromised or stolen. You may also be obligated to notify government agencies and, depending on your industry, you may have some nice fines levied against you for the security breach. The costs don’t end with notification and fees. Some of the other costs include legal fees for the lawyer that you will need to do damage control, brand or reputational damage, credit monitoring services, public relations fees and the costs associated with lawsuits lodged against your company.
Beyond these worries lies the question of whether or not the cyber attack gave all of your banking infomation to the attacker? How will that affect your business? The costs in many cases involving cyber crime can reach a level that could realistically force you to close the doors giving up everything you have worked so hard for.
You will find many statistics online about how much a cyber attack costs. The numbers are staggering and one study from the Ponemon Institute, LLC-“2014 Annual Study: Cost of Data Breach”states that the average cost of a cyber attack increased from $5.4 million to $5.9 million for the period of 2013-2014. The truth is that cyber attacks are becomming more sophisitcated and are increasing every year along with the costs associated with the fallout.
There are prevention strategies you can take to protect yourself from cyber crimes. With the proper plan in place you can effectively reduce the financial burden in the event of an attack. For information on how you can put a plan in place to prevent a cyber attack contact Ed McGuire at FBinsure