Cyber crime is a big problem for both individuals and businesses, but the more you have, the more you have to lose. That’s why cyber crime is an especially big deal when you own a company.
Cyber criminals are aware of how much money and personal information businesses have, so you’re a major target with a lot at stake, regardless of your industry. If you don’t normally put much thought into preventing cyber crime, here’s why you should start.
You Could Lose Money
The main concern for business owners is that they could lose a lot of capital due to cyber crime. This is because cyber criminals often go after financial information, such as bank account and credit card numbers, leading to losses of anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars for a single company. In fact, cyber crime costs the average American company $15 million annually. If you don’t have that kind of money to spare, you need to take precautions against cyber crime.
You Could Put Customers At Risk
When your business gets attacked by cyber criminals, they are often after personal information. In many cases, this information comes from your customers, as cyber criminals might want their address, phone number, social security number, credit card numbers, and other data that you need to keep private. If you want to avoid putting your customers at risk of financial loss or identity theft, you need to protect their information from cyber criminals.
Your Reputation Could Suffer
When a business gets attacked by cyber criminals, it often makes the news. The result is that people may associate your company’s name with a negative incident, harming your reputation among potential customers. And of course, your current customers won’t be happy to hear about a cyber attack on your company. Even when the attack doesn’t make the news, you’ll need to notify your customers, especially if their information was stolen or if you need to close for a few days while your business recovers from the cyber crime. It may take years to regain the trust of current and potential customers after a cyber attack on your business, leading to more financial loss as a result.
You’ll Need to Implement Changes
Once you’ve been attacked by cyber criminals, you need to work on fixing the damage, and then keep it from happening again. This takes time and money, since you might have to hire a whole team that’s knowledgeable about cyber crime if you don’t have a separate department devoted to this topic. You can expect to switch or update software and hardware and possibly even change some of your business habits. For instance, some companies have stopped storing their customers’ private information so cyber criminals don’t have the chance to steal it. Regardless of the changes you make, you might need to temporarily close your business or at least shut down your website for days or even weeks while you make the changes recommended by your cyber security team. Be sure to prepare for this possibility, and let your customers know about it ahead of time.
While there’s no way to guarantee cyber crime will never affect your business, you can drastically reduce the chances by take preventive action before it occurs. You can also add another layer of protection by getting cyber crime insurance, which can pay for some of the costs your business might incur after it’s been attacked by cyber criminals. This type of coverage is well worth the peace of mind you’ll have when you get it.