What Are the Financial Implications of a Cyberattack?
Most organisations will likely experience a cyberattack, and in many cases, they’ll experience more than one. Cybercrime, which includes everything from data breaches to ransomware attacks, impacts your business from a financial standpoint. More exactly, it can have direct material consequences via financial losses and indirect costs, such as reputational damage and loss of intellectual property. The risk of failure from a major cyberattack isn’t far-fetched. Less significant cyber incidents can affect financial stability by engaging with and amplifying other system vulnerabilities like leverage or run risk. Remember, it’s not personal, it’s business.
The financial repercussions of a cyberattack can be devastating, more often than not extending far beyond the initial incident. As you struggle to strengthen your cyber defences, it's vital not only to invest in robust security measures but also to ensure you have the budget or resources to address and get over the financial shock that follows the cyberattack. The long tail costs of an unwelcome attempt to steal, alter, expose, or destroy information can extend for months and years and comprise expenses you’re not aware of or didn’t anticipate. These costs include:
Data Recovery and Computer Investigation
If you rely on data for your operations, services, or products, a data breach can alter your business processes, so protect your information and ensure its recoverability to guarantee continuity after a cyberattack. It’s recommended to have a cybersecurity disaster recovery plan in place to be certain you can protect your data and recover it without paying the ransom demand. The factors that impact the price of data recovery are the type of device failure, lab equipment and operational costs, and the desired turnaround time. If a cyber incident has occurred, it’s necessary to investigate immediately.
There’s a requirement for organisations to report cyber incidents like data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority, notably if the offensive manoeuvre presents a risk to the affected individuals. If the cyberattack is likely to jeopardise the rights and freedoms of your customers, inform them without delay. Give people as much information as possible regarding the nature and extent of the breach. In this respect, you can use multiple communication channels, such as email, messaging, phone, etc. You should collaborate with law enforcement to ensure the timing of your notification doesn’t impede the investigation.
When security is breached, you could be open to a civil lawsuit. Individuals may sue businesses for damages resulting from the disclosure of information that exposes sensitive details. For more details, please visit https://www.databreachclaims.org.uk. Not only should you hire a lawyer, but you should also remedy the problem and maintain open lines of communication. Even if you’re the victim of cybercrime, you’re still accountable for the incident. Keep in mind that the Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to compel you to inform anyone concerned if there’s a high risk. Just in case, document your decision-making process.
Revenue Losses from System Downtime
A routine day transforms into chaos as your system crashes, bringing operations to a halt. Your system’s core services, both internal and external, are unavailable for a certain amount of time, bringing about revenue loss. That’s serious money. Given that customers are more demanding than ever and have higher expectations than they did in previous years, even seconds of latency or downtime can translate into a loss for the bottom line. Indeed, your costs can vary according to the cyber incident and its repercussions, but you won’t emerge financially unshattered. Even smaller numbers can have a big effect on the bottom line.
Damage To Your Brand’s Reputation
Consumers stop buying from brands affected by cyberattacks. Cyber incidents incur costs in the shape of ransomware payouts, higher insurance prices, and the cost of getting back online, which ultimately impact the price of goods and services. Many types of attacks leave people open to identity theft and other sorts of fraud, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that consumers are anxious. An offensive manoeuvre can result in the loss of customer trust, negative publicity, and lasting brand damage. Investors might view a cyber incident as a sign of recklessness and may not want to become involved.
At face value, the balance sheet will let you know the exact cost of reputational damage, but your share prices will tell others how poor of a standing you have. A lawsuit or a damaging headline can immensely impact financial performance and brand value, which is why you should have a well-thought-of approach to manage reputation risk. Otherwise, you’ll spend the rest of your life attempting to recoup your tarnished reputation. The size of your company doesn’t matter; a damaged reputation can harm any business in the same way. Complex multi-tier protection of every IT infrastructure element will help protect the company.
Victims may pursue legal action against your company, wanting to seek justice. If your business is sued, have an experienced lawyer review your case to ensure the best possible outcome. Litigation is complex, so you don’t want to take a chance on representing yourself. The fees for legal professionals are generally structured on an hourly basis, so you’re billed for the length of time they spend on the case. If the case goes to trial, you’ll incur even more costs, so it’s important to clarify the situation from the very get-go.
The bottom line is that cyberattacks present salient shocks and, if successful, can damage enterprises. Even with consistent investment in cyber resilience, the financial system is likely to become subject to a cyberattack if there are numerous redundancies. The breach of financial information can cause the most severe damage to company value among all kinds of breaches, so become aware of the various types of protocols, exploits, tools, and resources used by threat actors. Cyberattacks can happen even to the most disciplined organisations, so establish a formal plan to manage threats and restore critical services. To some extent, cyber incidents are inevitable, but your defence must be perfect at all times.