Impact of Cyber Attacks on Businesses: A Beginner-friendly Guide

BY SIFS India | February 23, 2022

Impact of Cyber Attacks on Businesses: A Beginner-friendly Guide

Today is the era of digitalization. Almost all businesses have shifted their operations from offline to online and are therefore always on the radar of malicious hackers. It increases the need to analyze your business needs and formulate and implement cybersecurity plans at all levels to ensure smooth business processes. 

An effective plan can help you face unpredicted threats and continue with your tasks.

But several times, company’s overlook the importance of implementing security measures. Here we have highlighted cyber-attacks, their types, reasons behind their occurrence, and impact of cyber-attacks on businesses.

What is Cyber-attack?

Cyber-attack is an illegal attempt by a known or unknown source to cause damage, expose, alter or destroy: 

• Computer information systems

• Personal computer devices

• Online digital assets

• Computer networks

• Computer or network infrastructure

These attacks can be:

Targeted: These attacks are focused on causing harm to your company’s digital assets or stealing sensitive information.

Un-targeted:  These attacks are not company or individual-specific. The attackers aim at several devices and users as possible at a time.

 Types of Cyber Crimes

Attackers are constantly searching for new sources to find vulnerabilities in business systems, networks, and processes. These weak points pose a cyber security threat to your company. 

Various types of cyber crimes can negatively impact your business. A few of them are:

• Ransomware attacks

• Denial-of-service attacks

• Man-in-the-Middle attack

• Malware attacks like worms, Trojans, spyware, etc.

• Cyber fraud like phishing, spear phishing, vishing

• Password attack

Read in detail: Different Types of Cyber-attacks and Ways to Spread Cyber awareness

Reasons Behind Cyber-attacks

All businesses, whether big or small, are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Every company possesses secret information that attackers or competitors might want to exploit. The primary motive of the criminals behind organizational cyber-attacks is financial gain. However, there are other factors also that lead to such crimes. Attackers might want to gain access to:

• Business’s and customers’ financial details like credit or debit card data

• Login credentials and email IDs of the company’s staff and clients

• Clients and customer database

• Company’s personal and sensitive information

• Intellectual property like a business plan or product offerings 

• Cause harm to business infrastructure

• Degrade the online reputation of the company

Cyber-attacks can come from anywhere, both from outside and inside the organization. To minimize the occurrence of such attacks, you must understand the reason behind those attacks. It will help your company create strategies to protect its digital assets or make a plan to handle such events if mitigating risks are beyond your reach.

Types of Cyber Attackers

There are two types of cyber attackers, one that can cause harm from within the organization and another that poses a threat from the outside.

External Attackers

There are several external cyber threats causing sources that your organization can fall prey to, such as:

• Professional or trained hackers 

• Nonprofessional or unskilled hackers

• Criminal groups

Internal Attackers

All the people having access (in-person and remote) to your organization’s digital assets can cause damage to your business. 

• Annoyed ex-employees with revenge intent

• Misuse of company’s policies by careless employees

• Accidental mishandling of information by trusted employees

• Mischievous employees with legal access to systems and information

• Clients, suppliers, and business partners having access to your digital assets can also act as a threat to your online security. 

Impact of Cyber Attacks on Businesses

If it becomes successful, a cyber-attack can cost your business a lot. It not only affects your business operations but also lowers consumer trust in your brand. 

You can classify cyber-attack impact into three types:

• Financial

• Reputational

• Legal

Financial Loss Due to Cyber-attack

Financial loss may arise from:

• Money loss 

• Stealing of sensitive corporate information

• Stealing of financial details like bank or debit or credit card details

• Disruption in carrying out online transactions

• Forfeiture of business contract

In addition to the above losses, you have to bear an additional cost to get the affected systems, networks, and devices repaired.

Reputational Damage Due to Cyber-attack

The relationship between customers and business is extremely sensitive. Once broken, it becomes too challenging to develop the same trust level as earlier. Cyber-attacks can harm your business’s reputation, and this could lead to:

• Losing current and potential customers

• Low revenue generation resulting from fewer sales

• Poor relationship with your business partners, suppliers, or investors

Legal Effects Due to Cyber-attacks

As per law, you must ensure the security of all the data you hold, both your staff and your customers. You must implement robust security measures to protect them from accidentally or deliberately getting affected. If you fail to do so, you may face legal penalties.

How to Minimize The Impact of Cyber-attacks on Your Business?

Security breaches can harm your business. So apart from implementing several risk mitigating strategies, you should be ready with a cyber security incident response plan to tackle the situation immediately after the threat has occurred. This plan can help you in:

• Reporting the crime to the concerned authority

• Decreasing the impact of the attack

• Immediate cleaning of the affected systems

• Reducing time to get your business on track

Final Words

The impact of cyber-attacks on businesses enhances the need for cyber security. Organizations of all sizes must realize the need to identify possible risks and devise strategies to mitigate them. Also, the plan should focus not only on short-term goals but also on the company’s long-term mission.

Incorporating cyber security awareness and training programs in your organization can help you. It will help you keep updated about the new possible threats and their remedies.

So, if you want to know more about how to safeguard your business from unpredictable disruptions, read about our corporate training program. 

Learn Cyber Security Online

It does not matter whether you have just completed your schooling or are a mid-level employee to become cyber aware. Even if you do not want to take it up as a full-time career option, you can enroll in short-term cyber security training or cyber security courses online to gain knowledge to protect your digital assets while doing day-to-day online activities.

Have detailed info about:

Cybersecurity Course

Cybersecurity Courses after 12th