Welcome to the first post in our series on cybersecurity.
Cyber security attacks continue to be one of the highest growing threats to your business.
It’s tempting to skimp or altogether eliminate a preventative care plan for security threats. But the price for not implementing a proper security strategy can be devastatingly higher in the case of an attack.
Cyber crime has cost the global economy over $450 billion and over 2 billion personal records were stolen according to the The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017.
Malware, malicious attacks and ransomeware can cripple the functionality of your website, affect your business’s reputation, and ultimately create a loss in revenue. It’s become increasingly essential to have the proper security measurements in place.
So, to kick things off, we begin with a discussion on the true cost of a vulnerable website. Some you’ll be familiar with but others you might now have thought of.
7 COSTS FROM A CYBER ATTACK
- RELEASE OF SENSITIVE INFORMATION – Account information, emails, passwords, etc. are vulnerable to threats of hackers or malicious attacks that leave your company, yourself and your clients at risk. The recent rise in Ransomware (300% up from last year) indicates that this is becoming a much larger threat than years past.
- SEARCH RANK CREDIBILITY – Search rankings may suffer in the event of an attack as a result of the search engine crawling your site and flagging the occurrence. Your search rankings will be penalized, particularly if the malicious content is being placed online through your website. The damage to your search rankings is not instant either. It can take months for the search engine’s algorithms to catch up. So, your site’s rankings will continue to be penalized long after a solution is implemented.
- MALICIOUS CONTENT – As noted above, your administrative rights may be compromised if your site is attacked by hackers. A common attack is for the hacker(s) to start posting spam or malicious content while posing as an administrator. This may be found in the form of a blog post, as an ad banner on one of your landing pages, etc. It can be a costly endeavor to troubleshoot and eliminate the problem.
- COMPANY REPUTATION AND TRUSTWORTHINESS – Your company’s reputation may be compromised in the event of an attack if your clients’ and business partners’ information is compromised. Or if they, in turn, become the target for malicious/spam content as a result of your site’s vulnerabilities.
- DISRUPTION/DOWNTIME – Considerable disruption to your site’s operation and/or performance may be affected. Hackers can compromise whole pages, disrupt E-commerce purchases and malicious attacks can potentially take down the entire site. Minutes, hours and potentially days can reduce revenue from e-commerce sales, form submissions and phone calls from current and potential clients.
- COST OF DAMAGE CONTROL – The harsh reality is the stopping a cyber attack is only part of the equation. Your development team will need to investigate, mitigate and then implement/revise your current security strategy offering. Depending on the size of the attack, this can become extremely time intensive and may result in continued downtime until a proper solution can be tested and released.
- COST OF IMPLEMENTING PROPER MEASUREMENTS – In addition to the cost of stopping the attack, your company will need to take the necessary measurements to bring its website’s security profile up to date. This may include additional developer hours for an audit, implementation of software and hardware updates, changes to the hosting/server environment, etc.