Every year, cyber threats keep increasing in intensity as well as number. The cyber crime industry is thriving so much that the cyber security industry is barely keeping up with the momentum. Did you know that CEH online (Certified Ethical Hacker) has become one of the top 10 IT certifications in 2020? This means that people are now strongly realizing the need for cyber security and are able to grasp the effects that cyber threats have on us. When we think about cyber threats, what comes to mind? Do we think about someone spying on us through our WebCams or do we think about someone selling our credentials on the dark web? Cyber threats can affect us in many different ways. From the loss of data to the loss of our life, the impact of cyber incidents should not be taken lightly at all. The following is an attempt to explain the terrible effects that cyber attacks can have on targeted organisations.
Loss of data
Losing your data is not pretty. Your data means everything to you, especially if you use it to drive your business operations. Losing sensitive data can be equally harmful since you will have to pay heavy fines to bear the cost of a data leak which is a highly expensive affair.
Loss of operational hours
Getting hit by a cyber incident means that your systems will have to be taken down to stop the spread or for maintenance. Just like in real life, when you get involved in an accident, you have to take a leave from work to recover yourself, the same way, your system will have to stay out of work until it is repaired and safe to run again. This could lead to loss of worker hours and operational time and could decline your productivity.
Loss of customer trust
Your customers will lose trust in your brand once they get to know that you were unable to avoid a cyber attack. Imagine how much data Google and Facebook have about its users. If they get hacked, people will change how they interact with these brands and probably start using an alternative. It is a disaster to lose your hard-earned customers because of such a mistake.
Loss of reputation
Many companies have received flak from users for having weak security policies. In the age of social media, it takes one Twitter trend to bring you down and decline your ratings on app stores. Loss of customer distrust and reputation can also lead to a fall in your stock prices.
Loss of life
If you work in healthcare, then you are well aware of the fact that a tiny mistake can cause someone to lose their life. Think about digital health devices like pacemakers and life support systems that have people’s lives riding on them. Any cyber threat can cause a complete failure of your digital devices and lead to terrible outcomes.
Loss of competitive edge
Sometimes, cyber attacks are a result of business rivalry. Someone who spites you may try to hack your systems to steal or leak your business secrets that could ultimately cost you your competitive edge in the industry.
In the end, it is important to remember that the most successful way of warding off cyber attacks is by increasing our awareness about cyber security and by investing in the same. Whether it is promoting ethical hacking training or cyber security training in young students or investing in staff’s security training, all the necessary steps should be taken as soon as possible to mitigate the damages and to fight cyber crime with all our might.