Cyber security: a top priority for businesses

Written by:
Amelia Craig
Date Posted:
20 August 2019

1/3 of small businesses have no cyber security strategy in place

The importance of cybersecurity
Whilst the internet provides many opportunities for businesses to develop and grow, it does come with other challenges. The amount of exposure that the internet offers is unparalleled, and as more companies store their data online, the danger of cyber attacks increase. 

You may think your business is protected, but cyber attackers are increasingly adept at breaching even the most secure systems. No business, no matter how big or small, is immune from a cyber attack.

Here are just some of the reasons why it is more important than ever to protect your business from cyber attacks:

Non-compliance & lawsuits
Some companies, especially those in the financial and healthcare sector, have a responsibility to ensure the security and safety of customer information and sensitive data. Cyber attacks where such information is stolen can lead to these companies becoming non-compliant, leaving them open to fines and lawsuits.

For example, companies who breach the Data Protection Act can face fines of up to £500,000. Companies that breach the GDPR can be fined up to 20,000,000 EUR or 4% of their worldwide annual turnover for the preceding year if this is higher.

Settling lawsuits can also be an expensive outgoing. In 2014, Target, a US-based retailer, faced a cyber attack where over 70 million records of data were stolen. The attack resulted in more than 140 lawsuits filed against Target, which cost the company approximately $10 million to settle.

The cost of downtime
The financial damage caused by cyber attacks can range in severity based on the type of attack. An example of a financially damaging attack is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. DDoS attacks aim to take a website or application offline and make it unavailable to its users. According to Gartner, the average cost per minute of downtime is £4,500.  

Investing in cyber security can save your business from a cyber attack that could potentially cause huge financial repercussions, especially if customer SLAs are not met.

Reputational harm
A successful business must uphold its reputation as a reliable and secure company amongst its customers. A good reputation can take years of hard work to create and sadly with the case of cyber attacks, can quickly be tarnished. Cyber attacks can destroy a company’s reputation in a matter of minutes.

In a study conducted by Hyve, we found that 1/3 of shoppers would negatively judge a retail brand if its website was down. DDoS attacks are common causes of site downtime in this sector, often making retail websites a target for attackers. Without a proper DDoS defence system in place, you leave your website open to DDoS attacks that could cause significant downtime. Not only could this damage your reputation, but it could also drive customers to competitor’s websites.

Sophisticated attacks
As security systems are updated, so are the tools and skills of the hackers. Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and therefore much more difficult to detect and tackle. Because of this, implementing a cyber security strategy and investing money into cyber security tools has become a top priority for businesses of all sizes.

Over the last few years, cyber attacks have also been on the rise, with ransomware groups such as WannaCry taking out several large organizations including the NHS. Businesses must take a proactive approach to safeguarding themselves and their valuable company data. 

Don’t leave your business at risk. Discover how our extensive range of security services can start protecting your business today. 

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